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  • Posted by Snoogoo 2 years, 12 months ago
    I'm a strong advocate for direct, individual charity. Charity within your own community also has a pretty good chance of helping the people who actually need it. If I know someone who needs help, and I can help them I will. It doesn't have to be in money form all the time either that way. You can actually give them what they can use to help themselves. Plus if you know at least a few basic details about a person, you can pretty much tell if they will put the donation to good use or not. If I didn't have to pay so much in taxes, I would probably do more of that.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 2 years, 12 months ago
    I am a Scoutmaster for the BSA overseeing between 12 and 20 young men 11-13. I spend one night a week and one weekend a month training boys to become men and leaders, respectful of others, and unafraid to take the challenges of life head-on. I also teach merit badges including Citizenship in the Nation (required) which requires a discussion of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, and at least one historical speech. I also teach first aid, fire safety, knife safety, online safety, and the standard knots, outdoor code, camping, flag ceremonies, and a host of other self-reliance skills. We also bring in expert guests to go over a variety of other topics of interest.

    Call it charity if you wish. I call it a defense against the looter mentality.
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  • Posted by  $  CBJ 2 years, 12 months ago
    I hardly ever use the word "charity" because of its association with altruism in the minds of most people: giving without any expectation of return. I contribute to organizations that share and promote my values, such as Institute for Justice and the Atlas Society.
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  • Posted by khalling 2 years, 12 months ago
    I tend to give time to charitable organizations I want to see successful. That way I have a better understanding of how the organization works. I have always had a strict rule that I would not give to an organization that 1. bullies people into participating (United Way through employers) and 2. their overall administrative costs capped at no more than 15%. 3. no high profile spokesperson that is paid an outrageous stipend for their "honorary"
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  • Posted by  $  alan 2 years, 12 months ago
    Having become a private pilot in later life when my kids were enrolled in the university, I figured out a way to fly frequently -- as a volunteer pilot for two organizations: Angel Flight Southeast/Mercy Flight Southeast and EAA Chapter 74/OYAC. This means providing an aircraft and paying all expenses in conjunction with the flights. Over the years I have also taken on various leadership roles in these organizations.

    With respect to other charities, I had similar experiences described in Allosaur's comments above.
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    • Posted by  $  2 years, 12 months ago
      It's fantastic that you're volunteering for Angel Flights; I've heard a lot of good things about them. Allosaur's comment was pretty powerful; I haven't yet had an experience like his, but it sounds like something to turn a heart cold.
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      • Posted by  $  alan 2 years, 11 months ago
        Thank you Sarah.

        We know our services are much appreciated by the recipients. Several patients become frequent flyers (and personal friends) because of their required frequent follow ups, whether they be weekly, monthly or yearly.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 11 months ago
      Watch where you go on angel flights. Several years ago a big controversy erupted over Maine because private pilots landing and spending too much time in the state were forced to pay a "use tax" substituting for sales tax on their planes that were bought out of state. This included pilots volunteering for angel flights. The airplane hijacking policy was cooked up by the state tax agency on its own, but neither the governor nor the legislature would stop it because they said the state needed the money.

      It resulted in the national pilot's association boycotting the state. Years later the state supreme court overturned it, still at great cost to the victims who had to pay legal fees and give up the use of money retrieved years later. Even that legal decision was typically unprincipled, stating only that the agency's criterion for how long the planes remained in Maine was too short (and not even specifying a revised time limit). It was all so embarrassing that the subsequent Republican legislature rescinded the regulation. But kept the same regulation for yachts. "Me too but slower". Such is today's "charity".
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      • Posted by  $  alan 2 years, 11 months ago
        ". . . {S}pending too much time. . . ." This means several days or a week at a time.

        Our flights are typically a quick turn around.(with an overnight stay if required) with the airport and ground facilities typically waiving the fees and offering discounted fuel.

        Never an issue for those of us flying these legitimate charitable missions.
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 12 months ago
    I only donate to charities in which I have a vested interest. Most notably, such charity goes to the purchase of equipment for my nanotech minor program. The students then repair the equipment and get first right to use it in our research.
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  • Posted by johnpe1 2 years, 12 months ago
    Sarah, I can only do a part of the things which I would
    like to get done in this life, so I "hire" others -- with the
    few bucks which I have -- to get more done. . that includes
    businesses which include charities. . one of my favorites
    is the Gary Sinise charity. . Gary played "Lieutenant Dan"
    in "Forrest Gump" and has set up a charity which
    helps military members who have problems, from
    injuries to boredom. . he plays the bass guitar in the
    Lt Dan Band which tours overseas like Bob Hope did
    decades ago. . his foundation builds homes for servicepeople
    who are wheelchair-bound, blind, deaf, etc. for free.
    they provide education and someone-to-call for those
    who need help. . I can't do all of that, sitting here in
    our kitchen nursing emphysema. . they can.

    I am also a ham radio person, and hams are often
    available for emergency communications when
    disasters hit. . I have never met a ham whom I
    didn't like. . we have many here in the gulch.

    but my favorite volunteer "service" is right here
    in the gulch. . I love these people and want to help
    in any way I can. . we together can help others to
    learn how their lives mean more than they have ever
    thought -- including creativity and self-ownership
    for a much better world tomorrow.

    You Are Our Future, Sarah, and Here's To YOU!!! -- john
    .
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  • Posted by  $  RobertFl 2 years, 12 months ago
    I give to the Disabled vets to thank them for their service.
    I give to the fire fighters to thank them for being there in the event of an emergency.
    I give to the Rescue Mission in hopes that I never need their services.

    My local fire fighters are not volunteer, but they raise money to help children that were burned in a fire.

    I have no problem with Charity. It's welfare that rubs my fur the wrong way.
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    • Posted by  $  RobertFl 2 years, 12 months ago
      I use to support the police the same way I did the fire fighters until I found out the police were using paid solicitors to call for donations.
      If the cause is important enough for them to volunteer time to the phone banks, then it isn't important enough for me to donate to them.
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      • Posted by Mamaemma 2 years, 12 months ago
        Yes, I used to donate for "shop with a cop". I had to quit because they drove me crazy! Phone calls from their paid solicitors every week wanting more and more.
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  • Posted by Abaco 2 years, 12 months ago
    Almost any energy or funds I would normally give to a charity, all efforts I would have spent being a coach (which I view as a form of charity) is going to my son. I do, on occasion, give some to St. Jude's.

    I don't see charity as a bad thing as long as it's really done from the heart, isn't compulsory, and the person giving can do so without endangering their own financial well being. A lot of elderly really get suckered, unfortunately.
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    • Posted by khalling 2 years, 12 months ago
      maybe you have already shared with us about your son and I missed it. Do you mind telling us what his condition is? I understand if you don't wish to do that
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      • Posted by Abaco 2 years, 12 months ago
        Autism. The impact that disorder is having on society is so stealth. I, personally, know about a dozen dads who would be great coaches, mentors, even better industrialists in some cases. But, it pulls parents out of the realm where they can contribute.

        When I saw the callousness with which "the system" treated these kids and their parents I took a "f-em" attitude and feel no remorse when I don't donate. It's a very polarizing disorder simply because of that. If these kids were suffering blindness, or cancer it wouldn't be so - because the medical gods in white coats have answers for those. Not this. They scurry like cock roaches on this one...

        Several years ago I did auction off one of my guitars to raise money for a family in my hood who had 3 kids and had their power turned off. That's probably a biggie for me. I knew the kids and couldn't sit on my ass down the street while their house was dark. Of course, the parents never learned how to manage (or make) any money.
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        • Posted by Mamaemma 2 years, 12 months ago
          I occasionally donate my services free to needy patients. Unfortunately someone told me years ago that what is free to a person often has no value to them, and that is true many times, so I do it less. Now I spend the same amount of money giving a break to my responsible patients.
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          • Posted by Abaco 2 years, 11 months ago
            The sad reality is that a great number of Americans simply aren't equipped, educationally, to handle their finances. And, those who don't know, can't teach their kids. This is important because the schools don't teach it. It works well for the leftists in charge in the long run, of course.
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  • Posted by cksawyer 2 years, 12 months ago
    Although I very occasionally donate money; more often, I do community service and and other forms of pro bono (meaning no direct monetary compensation) work. This part of my life is of value to me and I do a good bit of it. I have two primary criterion for selecting what/whom I get involved in.

    1. I have read variations on this above, but I have an articulated personal mission, around which I try to align and guide all areas and efforts of my life. I am committed to having an impact on the world of very specific nature that is true to my specific nature as a unique individual human being - to leave a concrete legacy in other words. So if an undertaking supports this mission more productively than other options for my use of that time and energy (and occasionally money), I'm "in".

    2. I try to do pick this work so that I also profit- i.e., serve other objectives in my life simultaneously with serving that organization, cause, value or person (my mission). Examples might be marketing my business ventures, having fun, meeting new people, traveling to new places, learning/personal and professional growth, etc.
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    • Posted by dekayz 2 years, 12 months ago
      Well said. I spend quite a bit of my non-work time volunteering for organizations which provide services or research to combat conditions which have affected me in one way or another. I find that your statement #2 expresses much of what I get in return for that time.
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  • Posted by H2ungar123 2 years, 12 months ago
    I do not consider it a major virtue,and above
    all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them.I regard charity
    as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is
    the idea that charity is a moral duty and a
    primary issue. Ayn Rand. My sentiments
    exactly.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 11 months ago
      Yes, that quote is from her 1964 Playboy interview. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/cha...

      She did not say anything goes as long as you want to do it, did not say it is "from the heart", and did not say you have a duty for some percentage. It's to be approached rationally, by principle, and by goals, like other choices. You should help people you believe are worthy of the help, not just anyone in "need" because they are in need. You should not sacrifice more important personal goals of your own. And it should not be out of a sense of guilt -- charity is not a duty and not even a primary virtue. It's a social luxury affordable by the productive, as she put it in Letters of Ayn Rand.

      The implications are that whatever you have left and can afford -- after having been looted by taxes for altruist sacrifices -- to help others out of benevolence towards them should be carefully directed, not turned over to just any organization claiming to be doing good. If the money is going to a cause like medical research, or education (such as the ARI books program), or a public interest law organization setting precedents (like PLF or IJ), make sure the organization is using the money wisely in accordance with the kinds of projects you want to support. When helping people directly make sure it is going to the kind of people you think are worthy of it. Doing it right in accordance with your goals is a responsibility. Otherwise charity becomes a sacrifice.
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  • Posted by  $  Suzanne43 2 years, 12 months ago
    First of all, my husband and I tithe through our church. We stipulate that our tithe stays with our local church and does not go to the national church. (The national church is very Liberal, and I don't trust it.) Secondly, we give to the Salvation Army. I support charitable giving if it comes through the individual and not through taxes. No one should be forced to give to a charity.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 2 years, 12 months ago
    Having helped out various charities over his many years, Old Dino can get downright ornery when folks try to manipulate his often too big heart that shrinks annually.
    Occasionally a charity will stick a dollar bill or a coin or two to trigger a guilt trip.
    That worked a couple of the very first times back during the 70s.
    Then I resented the mind game being pulled and kept the money without donating anything.
    Charities still send me money decades later. Last week I made $1.02 in cash just for opening two letters and tossing the rest into File 13.
    I also save the strings of one cent stamps that aren't already pasted on a return envelope that hits File 13.
    A decade ago I gave $20 or so to an American Indian charity though I was sent an unasked for "bad dream catcher" hoop with feathers hanging off of it.
    I should have known better.
    Next thing I know every freaking tribe in the southwest is sending me all kinds of stuff and pictures of cute children
    Old Dino's big heart hardened like the pharaoh in Book of Genesis.
    I have about 30 bad dream catchers and a cheap and thin Indian blanket hung by my bed.
    Did I send back money for any of that? Just the first one buried under all the rest.
    About five years ago some charity sent me a calculator with my name printed on it.
    I sent back a small donation. Again,I should have known better.
    One year later the same charity sent me another calculator with my name on it.
    I realized that I would start piling up calculators with my name on it on an annual basis.
    So I just kept it. Period.
    A month later I was sent a complaining letter about how I was sent a calculator and please mark and pay us an amount by one of these boxes.
    I threw it away.
    This year history repeated itself.when I donated money to a sheriff deputy group. They rewarded my kindness by sending me a calculator that had a crooked sticker with my name on it.
    Supposing I may get the same thing on an annual basis, I kept the calculator and sent back nothing.
    Last week I received a letter of calculated calculator complaint with boxes to mark.
    Tough luck, sheriff deputies.
    Being manipulated matters.
    How much a CEO makes also factors into a decision to help out this or that charity.
    During 2014, the CEO of Wounded Warriors received a $100,000 raise to raise his annual income to $475,015,. If you wish, look that up like I did.
    Mail from some charities I do not even bother to open. Hint, hint!
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    • Posted by  $  Suzanne43 2 years, 12 months ago
      I had to laugh about the calculators. When I got another one in the mail a few months ago, my husband asked me why I was tossing it out. I told him that I already had about three hundred of them all with my name label glued on crookedly. I continue to toss this stuff out....pads of paper, address labels, calendars, etc. Well, except for the ballpoint pens from the VFW. I do like those. BTW, the Shriners' hospitals for children are worthy of a donation. Problem is they will probably send you one of those adorable blankets.
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    • Posted by ewv 2 years, 11 months ago
      Fortunately it is illegal for anyone to send you unsolicited goods and force you to send it back or pay for it. But they must be raking in a lot sending out cheap "calculators" to buy guilt.
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      • Posted by  $  allosaur 2 years, 11 months ago
        Whether it's calculators, coins, one dollar bills or native American made trinkets, a lot of charities are out to inflict guilt trips.
        I also have currently received several note pads I use to make shopping lists and address labels galore stacked in a box.
        Do I feel guilty about not "chipping in" toward a cause for using something free sent to me in the mail?
        Nope, nada, nein!
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  • Posted by walkabout 2 years, 12 months ago
    Good discussion and thoughts on the matter. I contribute financially to various social activist groups (most seem to be suing the government in one way or another to stop the feds from doing things they should not be doing) or providing education in limiting intrusion from the federal government. I also give of my time to youth mentoring. From Ben Carson I take that while individuals should "tithe" to do charitable work (which they select themselves), the additional 10% he talks about is probably a reasonable number to go to the federal government to do those few (19 I think) things in the Constitution that are the "necessary evils" it is difficult to see individuals dong effectively (e.g. protect our shores). In the modern age, I could see eliminating "deliver the mail" from the purview of the federal government. I lobby constantly for laws to "sundown" so the things we do as a society are limited to current needs (no policy would be no more than 9 years out of date from the perceived societal need)
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  • Posted by scojohnson 2 years, 12 months ago
    I'm a little cynical of most charities, when you read their federal non-profit filings, it usually has very little to do with 'charity' and more with being a free high-paid job for the employees. Non-profit doesn't mean "no money", it just means "no profit after paying ourselves".
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 2 years, 12 months ago
    I have found that the welfare state I live in has destroyed my impulse toward charity. For many years I paid an extra tuition at the private school my children went to among other things. Today I look around and know there is a government "program" that I pay for to provide whatever people need.
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    • Posted by ohiocrossroads 2 years, 12 months ago
      I have thought way for many years, too. But I have come to think that I should withhold my income taxes from going to Washington, and donate it all to local charities, or ones that I agree with. We all know that the gummint doesn't do what they say they're going to do with the money. And even if some of the money goes to the right agencies, most of it is wasted anyway. Ayn Rand said that the only legitimate purposes for the Federal government were to run the justice system and the military, with everything else "hands off".
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      • Posted by  $  2 years, 12 months ago
        "hands off" is the correct term for it. I find it difficult to donate and contribute time when I am forced to do so anyway in participation for schools and clubs.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 years, 11 months ago
          Yes, there is no duty to sacrifice. One of the consequences of the things you are forced to do in the name of charity is little or nothing, in time or other resources, left over for anything else, including charity you would like to support. Part of the resources required are the time and effort to investigate the proper use of your charity.

          See the discussion on Ayn Rand's view on this elsewhere on this page https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...
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      • Posted by ewv 2 years, 11 months ago
        Most of your money is wasted by government, but worse is that it is used to support people and organizations that you oppose or explicitly do not regard as worth supporting. But you can't withhold taxes and substitute other recipients or they will put you in jail. Don't martyr yourself. Speak out against what they are doing and the altruism and collectivism used to rationalize interfering with or preventing your charity.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 12 months ago
    I give to two causes that I have investigated who spend around 90% of their intake for good works. One of them is religious based, but their what they do supersedes their religiosity. Being retired I strictly limit my contributions other than if I choose to help someone on a one to one basis.
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  • Posted by  $  Radio_Randy 2 years, 12 months ago
    We have a "shared leave" program, where I work. If I get close to max'ing out my annual leave, I will often donate it to a needy coworker. I, also, give blood at the local blood bank.

    Together, these are what constitute my charitable giving...oh, there are also my donations of unused items to Habitat or Goodwill.

    None of these give me a guilty feeling if I don't donate.
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  • Posted by  $  edweaver 2 years, 12 months ago
    My first criteria for giving funds or donating time is where the organizations funds come from. If they apply for or receive any government funding they are disqualified instantly. If they don't take government money then I look at their administrative costs, if there is a possibility of producing work for the organization or how much I care about the cause. I either have to gain work or care greatly about the cause to proceed donating money/in-kind service or time to the organization.
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  • Posted by Esceptico 2 years, 12 months ago
    Yes to local animal rescue groups where I can go see that they are actually doing something I support and not high living for the executives.
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