Charity around the World
Charity is the volunteering offering of help to those in need, in most cases, it is in the form of money. Lundquist describes charity from a biblical perspective by answering the question, “what is the supreme good?”In his book a Call for Charity, he answers the question stating that the supreme good is having compassion towards those in need. Compassion comes as a result of love; therefore, charity is love (Lundquist 2). It is through love that people get the need to assist others, who are less fortunate. Charity has existed for many years since the origin of humanity. This is evident in historical documents or books, commonly in religious texts such as the Bible, Quran, Baghavad Gita and many more. This paper will examine charity around the world and its impact on the global society.
The main purpose of charity is to help the less fortunate. It is perceived ethical for a financially stable person or a person with more food to assist that with none. Charity does not require an individual to be wealthy, but simply one who has the ability to offer assistance. It is a voluntary act where an individual or individuals take part in showing love for fellow humanity by giving. This is a global practice and one of the common characteristics that define humanity; compassion. When charity is mentioned, most people think in terms of money, but charity is not entirely about money. People offer help in many kinds such as giving food and clothing. This kind of assistance is not limited to a specific country or state. Due to the need to help others, the geographical difference can be overcome easily through money; it is easier to access. For this reason people commonly offer charity in terms of money.
Dr. Beth Breeze in her article “Charitable Giving is often driven by Personal Taste, Not Perceived Need,” examines the aspect of voluntary giving. She claims that when an individual gives charity in the form of money, it is assumed they are donating since they are moved by the needs of the less fortunate and desire to help. Dr. Breeze supports the idea that charity is not only intended for the needy. She claims it is broadly assumed that charity primarily focuses on the needy and the activities of most donors have the needy in mind. In reality, according to Dr. Breeze, this is not exactly the case. She conducted a study on the choice of donors when it comes to charity. The study revealed donors choose to support the causes that mean something rather than supporting the charitable organizations that meet the urgent needs.
Dr. Breeze explains that the choice to support a particular charity is largely driven by the personal inclination of the donor, as well as preference. This is driven by the desire to assist people they feel some likeness with, and for specific causes due to personal experiences. For example, during the Hurricane Katrina incidence, most Americans offered donations to assist the affected. People in the developed countries offer charity to those in the under developed such as Africa and some parts of Asia among others.
Dr. Breeze brings another notion of charity that people are not very familiar with; charity to animals. She examines that one of her interviewees during the study she conducted claimed he preferred sending his charity to the support of animals. Animals need assistance, as well. For example, endangered species are expensive to sustain and to avoid extinction; organizations support the animals through charity.
Despite charity being for the good of people and animals in need, it is examined that some individuals take advantage of charity for personal gains. Pallota claims that in charity, it is believed the money does not get to the intended persons (p.1). She claims when searching the internet for “charities waste money” results generated 3.6 million findings. The comments of people in these findings; blogs, forums and articles, showed a public distrust of how the funds they donate is used. They did not trust how the charity organizations conduct their business (Pallota 3). Pallota points out that in the forums, an individual claimed the American Cancer Society uses 9.6percent of the revenue collected through charity is spent on administrative expenses. Another 21.8 percent of the money is spent on campaigns to raise more money (p.3). Such expenditures create suspicion among donors as they do not see the purpose of their donations being put in action. This example, explains the reason a large number of the American public believe charities waste money.
Small and Verrochi in their article “The Face of Need: Facial Emotion Expression on Charity Advertisements” examine the advertisement of charity. The authors claim these charity organizations display photographs of persons with the need for help. This is because of the human aspect of empathy as they expect an individual to have companion over the needy and donate. The emotional expression on the face of a victim affects sympathy and giving. The authors explain that these emotions are likely to “catch” a sympathetic person and will likely donate. This is after seeing the sad-faced victim in need. It is not bad to advertise as long as the intention is genuine as donors require evidence of the use of their donations. When used positively, charity saves lives of thousands of innocent individuals. Through charity compassion over fellow human beings is expressed by donors.
Business organizations offer charity as part of the corporate social responsibility (Lundquist 21). For example, the airline company, Fly Emirates, offers donations to the less fortunate around the world. The company provides help through “The Emirates Airline Foundation”. The foundation supports well being of children and the health of the less fortunate. In addition, the foundation provides donations to support the campaign on a clean environment. There are other organizations, both profit and non-profit that support the needy in the society. Through charity people reach out to each other around the globe to offer assistance where necessary. As a result, charity builds a global society where love is promoted among humanity.
In conclusion, charity is a result of compassion between the fortunate and the less fortunate driven by love. People from different regions of the world come together to assists the less fortunate in any possible way. Charity has existed for centuries since historical periods and is observed as part of ethics or tradition in some societies. Despite charity providing a chance for survival to the less fortunate, some individuals take advantage of this situation for personal gains. The money collected for the intention of charity does not reach the victims in need. This has been experienced in several occasions; thus, increasing concerns regarding the trust on charitable organizations.
Dr. Beth, Breeze. Charitable Giving is often driven by Personal Taste, Not Perceived Need. The Guardian. Retrieved online March 29, 2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2011/sep/15/personal-taste-drives-charitable-giving
Eric, Lundquist. J. The Call for Charity. Lulu.com, 2008.
Dan, Pallotta. Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up For Itself and Really Change the World. John Wiley & Sons, 2012.
Deborah A. Small. The Face of Need: Facial Emotion Expression on Charity Advertisements. Journal of Marketing Research: December 2009, Vol. 46, No. 6, pp. 777-787.
Emirates. The Emirates Airline Foundation. Reaching out to Children in Need. Retrieved online March 29, 2014 from http://www.emirates.com/english/about/emirates_airline_foundation/emirates_airline_foundation.aspx
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