Making excuses doesn’t help anyone

Being the bigger person is the best way to help those in need

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Charitable organizations come in many varieties, and we are often cautioned against donating to certain charities based on their allocation of funds or organizational beliefs. But where do we draw the lines when a charity goes against our personal beliefs, but does in fact help people?

The real question: Is it fair for us to withhold giving to a charity that is doing good work just because we have differing views? For example, a homeless shelter that doesn’t take in members of the LGBTQ community for religious reasons, but does house more than 50 children at any given time. Many LGBTQ advocates would avoid donating food and clothing to this shelter because of that difference of opinions.

Who are you really helping, though? You aren’t exactly helping the LGBTQ community by not donating to that shelter, and unless you seek out another local shelter to donate to, you aren’t helping the homeless in your community.

While it is a worthwhile trait to donate to those organizations you feel most aligned with, when there are people in your community who need help, is it okay for you to ignore that need?

There are some strong arguments in favor of helping those in need despite your personal feelings about certain organizations.

It doesn’t have to be much or frequent, but before you make an excuse for why you don’t want to donate to an organization think about what you can do to actually help someone in need.”

First, even a shelter that doesn’t house the LGBTQ community still provides shelter for men, women and children who would otherwise be on the street. Does it really make you the better person to turn your cheek to those people (who are there because they needed to get off the street, not because they agree with the organization’s values)?

Second, if you want to help people, the way to do it isn’t by making excuses to avoid donating — pick another organization that you do agree with or suck it up and donate to one that needs your help. Better yet, go to the shelter or children’s home or wherever and volunteer your time.

However when it comes to donating to nationwide charities, that is where you want to be a little more skeptical. Many people who advocate for the LGBTQ community don’t shop at or donate to the Salvation Army because of their views on gay marriage.

When it comes to local charities, though, you have a lot more flexibility about what you donate. If you are worried about a charity that misallocates funds but you agree with what they do that is a prime opportunity to volunteer your time and help people hands-on. If you don’t agree with the values of a charity think about a way to help that is value-neutral — giving food or clothes is usually safe since those are basic needs.

The point: just do something. It doesn’t have to be much or frequent, but before you make an excuse for why you don’t want to donate to an organization think about what you can do to actually help someone in need.

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