Sunday, December 25, 2011
I had some spare time this morning waiting for the team to get out of bed, so I topped off my charitable giving for the year, well ahead of the usual New Year's Eve scramble.
My giving has not changed much in recent years -- I re-upped for all the charities on the 2009 list -- but I added a couple on the advice of reader comments in posts over the last few years.
Learning Ally, which used to be Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. "Mindles Dreck," who occasionally posts here, is on the board of that great organization, which boosts the productivity of people who can bring a lot to the fight once they have a path past their disability.
Kiva, which I have mentioned before. Kiva is a portal that connects micro-lenders with small businesses in the developing world. You can lend money in increments as small as $25 dollars to any one of thousands of entrepreneurs who are working to make their own part of the world a better and more prosperous place. I make something of a specialty of lending to the growing number of micro-borrowers in Iraq, but you can pick a part of the world or type of business that floats your own particular boat. With Kiva, you can both donate to support the mission and make loans with money that you will eventually get back.
The Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. I have family in the area, and one of them works for that organization. A local charity, to be sure, but if you live in central Virginia it is certainly worth looking in to.
And last but definitely not least, the Semper Fi Fund, which provides crucial support to wounded Marines and their families.
Since most of our readers are conservatives, we can assume you give generously. To whom do you give to make a difference?
I love Brooks' book and analysis, but he doesn't seem to dare go the final step, which rather leaps out of the statistics. Conservatives give more than liberals at exactly the % accounted for by having more religious people. And libertarians, with the fewest % of religious people, are behind both conservatives and liberals. The the three least-religious states (including mine) - VT, NH, ME - are also the least generous.
I think Christian giving is still wholly inadequate, compared to what we are called to. But the numbers indicate that few have standing to criticise us.
BTW, for those who missed Brooks, conservative (religious) people give more even when factoring out church and parachurch giving.
I consider myself libertarian and not particularly religious, but I think I do OK on the charity side. But I was sort of raised that way, and know a great many people involved in one or another charity.
I regularly support Liberty Institute (http://www.libertylegal.org/index.php ); they routinely (although not always) beat the ACLU on matters of religion and military support.
Also on the list are Soldiers Angels and Spirit of America.
I think that the best charity to support is the charity you know. This is the reason why I support rather local charities in Toronto. They have quite long tradition and are reliable, so I know that my money doesn´t disappear in vain.