This post is probably going to upset many people. I don’t care. This are my observations of the last 40 years. If I did not see the same example repeat itself time after time, I would not be writing about it. I am not speaking of any person in particular. I am referring to Christians in general and donations of all kinds. There is a disconnect with people that is frustrating and sometimes painful.
When I was young, we used to get a box of chocolates to sell for charity. Yes, the truth was that most of the time I would eat half of the box and would end up volunteering for a second box out of guilt…and probably eat five of the 20 bars of that one as well. What can I say, I’m a chocoholic!
I was surrounded by all kinds of people from all kinds of religions that lived in my neighborhood. Some of them were more than happy to buy chocolate from me. Ironically, the ones that claimed to be very religious, volunteering tons of hours at church and belonging to several church initiatives, would usually buy none. My favorite was the “come back later so I can buy a couple” and then they would leave and accidentally forget all about it.
I’ve always loved to donate. I strongly believe that whatever you do will come back in spades. That does not mean that it will come back as the same thing. If I donate $10 today, I am not expecting $10 next week. It is the sense of doing something nice for someone else that feels me with joy and I think that is visible and people are drawn to that kind of energy.
I have been on the receiving end as well. There is a place here called Harvest Time International that gave me food when we almost went broke in 2012. Needless to say, when I got my job in May of the same year, I made a donation to them, just in case I never had money again (that way I felt like I paid them back and covered a couple of more people in my situation).
With the internet, other avenues of charity have opened up. You have crowdsourcing sites where you can help people like me pursue their dreams. There are exercise events that help raise awareness for different causes. And this is where this dichotomy between religion and charity is coming back to hunt me.
I don’t care what you believe. I have friends who are Catholic, Buddhist, Agnostic and/ or atheists. I love them all and I respect their opinions. All I ask is that they respect my decision to not believe in any organized religion. I do believe in God and I do things my way. I don’t believe in making a mega church richer, I do believe in donating to those causes that are near and dear to my heart.
For the next two months I have several events that include Cerebral Palsy the entire month of September and Alzheimer’s awareness one day in October. I share the post online as many times as I can. What is the result? None. All these people that spend hours posting about their faith in God and “Give me an Amen if you believe in Jesus” are silent in the face of actual need. If you don’t have $5, I can understand. But these same people then go on to post all the nights they go out to dinner, instead of eating home and all the trips they go to. I’m asking you for the price of a Pumpkin Spice Latte and you are telling me you are broke, while posting a picture of your Latte. Whatever happened to helping your neighbor?
Even more offensive is the fact that they wont even share the posts to get others to donate, even if it is just $5. Some of the people I know through social media have a lot of money. Others don’t even know where their next meal is coming from. I do find it ironic that I am thinking about someone right now who has more burdens than anyone I know and she will be the one that will share my posts with everyone she knows in the hopes that somebody will donate. Her annual income at this particular moment? $0. And by the way, she is a Christian, so this is not shade on religious people.
If this article bothers you, maybe it is because you see yourself reflected in it. If you are one of those people that is always talking about God and never donating to anyone, you are not serving His purpose. If you think that donating to your church is the only way to tithe, you are completely incorrect. If your pastor says that if you don’t give exactly 10% of your income before taxes, you cannot belong to that church, you are better off at a different church.
It is time that you stop following blindly and start using your head. I’m not asking for much, neither are my friends. I have a friend who is trying to save his daughter’s life, one dollar at a time. He needs $100,000 to take her up north for treatment. It has taken him two weeks to collect $6K. Why? He is surrounded by deeply religious people who are indifferent to his plight. Why? When did we become so jaded that helping our community became a burden or a photo op instead of the opportunity to do some good and feel that joy inside.
I have some friends that donate their energy and their time helping at their church or going on missionary journeys. I’m not talking about those people. And yet I know, most of them will give to the charity of their choice. The problem is not them, the problem is the rest of us. Those who call themselves Christians would be surprised if I told them how much atheists and agnostics donate every day to thousands of charities. And by the way, don’t give me the excuse that most people in Gofundme.com are frauds. They might be. Jesus said to do good and not look at who. It is a good motto. If you donate from the heart, you did your part. If you want to make sure, investigate before you donate.
Now I know I am ranting. I’m very upset. All I want is to be able to donate to my favorite charities and make the money necessary to publish my book (maybe even for free if I get enough donations). Most of the charities I donate to are not about me. All of them are good causes, many of them have been highlighted in this article (every underlined word is a link to a charity event). Whether you believe in God, Ala or any other belief or you don’t believe in anything at all, you can chose to donate to one of these, share the campaigns so others can donate, or donate to causes of your own. I don’t expect you to publish it like you do your church, although I believe you should. We should share every charity we help in order to get more people to donate to them.
Sometimes a dollar is a lot. Share the abundance. You will not be sorry.
Have a charity you want us to know about? Leave the link below. If it is a crowdsourcing campaign, please verify that it is legit before you send it our way. Thanks. Share this post with your friends. Thanks for that too.