What causes do you donate to?

1/19/2010:

Each time there’s a giant disaster of some kind on this planet – the same thought come to my mind: “Oh, that’s terrible,” and wish for the best for those affected. Tragic acts of nature are impossible to avoid, and will continue forever.

Haiti looters fight and beat each other after earthquake

What makes gargantuan tragedies any different?

OK, I understand that anytime “large scale” events take place, they get more attention and need more “help” to clean up, recover from, and so on. But to me, it’s not as simple as that.

Seems that the recent colossal earthquake in Haiti has garnered more attention than any non-U.S. event in history. With all the new communication methods (Twitter, Facebook, SMS) it seems like everyone and their brother are supposedly “chipping in” for the cause. Is that necessarily a problem? Not really – it’s human nature after all – but with each ensuing biblical catastrophe, more pesky questions keep coming up.

What about us?

Homeless man on Newark Street by CVS Hoboken NJI’ll bet anything, that because of the enormity of this recent earthquake, that hundreds of thousands of individuals donated to the cause – but have never given to a local charity in their home town. I’d suspect it could even be seen as “trendy” to give, because “everyone else is,” and due to the massive coverage and marketing (“As seen on TV!”) they’re just reaching more people.

Believe it or not, there are bigger problems in the world – and even our own country! Starvation, homelessness, poverty and more. But because it doesn’t happen in one dramatic fell swoop – we tend not to notice – or care – as much. Why is that? Why do we gravitate so heavily towards the sensational?

Just imagine how much better our own country would be, if we just helped each other out more. Whether it’s your family, a neighbor, the elderly, a complete stranger and so on – if we just collectively stepped our own game up 1% more, and not wait till all hell breaks loose – we might see some surprising results. Then again, we all love “blockbusters,” right?

An opportunity for others?

Another thing that comes along with these disasters is the alarming number of groups, businesses and other organizations who all of a sudden feel the need to put together some kind of marketing scheme. Like adding the word “Haiti” to your event, store sale, gathering or charity is the buzz-word of the month. Are they doing it solely because of the tragedy? Or is there some underlying objective to “gain” something for themselves? (Money, exposure, attention). Can’t they just give to an existing and well-established charity on their own? Need it be publicized?

What about these charities?

I always wondered how people easily open their wallets for most charity organizations – without knowing much about them. In just the same manner in which governments and companies need to be audited, who’s watching the charities? How do we know they’re using your money efficiently? Or not “funneling” some money off the top in some nefarious way? Just because the “cause” is admirable, doesn’t mean some hanky-panky isn’t going on behind the scenes.

There’s so much money flying around at such a furious and urgent pace, from so many places, it’s impossible to keep track of what’s going on! How much is really needed? While I definitely feel that manpower and resources are necessary more than anything else, is it possible that they already met the fiscal requirements, and all that’s left is time and patience? I mean the “red zone” of damage in Haiti isn’t too much bigger than Hoboken (although other less severe damage was spread out around approx 20+ sq. miles). The logistics for handling disasters like this in an efficient manner is probably the biggest problem we’ll always have. You can never be fully prepared.

Some may frown upon my reasonable doubts and consider them unacceptable. But look at what happened with once untouchable institutions such as the churches (sexual abuse, money laundering, etc.)

It could very be that I’m the only one that sees beyond the desperate images of rubble and despair…

I’ll stick with my “one good deed a day” motto of living and keep it at that.

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24 Comments on "What causes do you donate to?"


plywood
Member
plywood
6 years 4 months ago

I am glad that Downtown Dude had a positive experience with In Jesus’ Name Pantry. Others looking to donate food (or food gift cards) can do so by either going to post 20 in this thread or calling 201-792-2112. They are also supported by Redeemer Hoboken (dot com). Let me be the first to thank you.

Downtown Dude
Member
Downtown Dude
6 years 4 months ago
Does anyone know of any places in Hoboken where I can donate goods (canned food, paper towels, etc.) and get a receipt. I do not have a car so Hoboke only please. I used to donate to the Hoboken Shelter on 3rd but they only give you a receipt when you donate cash. Quite frankly I don’t trust most non-profit entites so I wouldrather offer goods which can be used or eaten. I just dn’t get why they give you a donation receipt for goods. It just makes me wonder why cash only. It also makes me second guess the… Read more »
whineanddineinhob
Member
whineanddineinhob
6 years 4 months ago
Yeah, I guess there is nothing like giving from the heart and being pissed cause you get nothing in return. In response to Downtown Dude who said: Does anyone know of any places in Hoboken where I can donate goods (canned food, paper towels, etc.) and get a receipt. I do not have a car so Hoboke only please. I used to donate to the Hoboken Shelter on 3rd but they only give you a receipt when you donate cash. Quite frankly I don’t trust most non-profit entites so I wouldrather offer goods which can be used or eaten. I… Read more »
Downtown Dude
Member
Downtown Dude
6 years 4 months ago
Actually WHINEANDDINEINHOB I like to do from the heart quite often, but with the amount that I am donating (over $3,000 in goods) I would like to reduce my taxable income. I’d be a fool not to do that. I think that with Obama in the White House we’d all be fools not do to everything posible to reduce or taxable incomes. Don’t you? Thanks for the info PLYWOOD. In Jesus’ name charities takes a certain amount of goods and offers a receipt. Below is the link if anyone else on here would like to help out locally. They are… Read more »
plywood
Member
plywood
6 years 4 months ago
You might want to try In Jesus’ Name Pantry at 5th and Willow (between the church and the school in the alley. I don’t know their policy on receipting but they are completely legit. In response to Downtown Dude who said: Does anyone know of any places in Hoboken where I can donate goods (canned food, paper towels, etc.) and get a receipt. I do not have a car so Hoboke only please. I used to donate to the Hoboken Shelter on 3rd but they only give you a receipt when you donate cash. Quite frankly I don’t trust most… Read more »
Downtown Dude
Member
Downtown Dude
6 years 4 months ago

Thanks Plywood I will check them out.

In response to plywood who said:
You might want to try In Jesus’ Name Pantry at 5th and Willow (between the church and the school in the alley. I don’t know their policy on receipting but they are completely legit.

xyzpdq
Member
xyzpdq
6 years 4 months ago

Hoboken411 does a service by starting a conversation here about the challenges of charity. My frustration? Millions have been raised for Haiti but are not getting to the people who need it most. So many want to help but only the Israeli Defense Forces are able to set up temporary hospitals that work in time to save lives. What a sad mess. I pray for those people who aren’t getting the help they so desperately need.

HobokenRox
Member
HobokenRox
6 years 4 months ago
“There are bigger problems in the world – and even our own country!” – Hoboken411 Did you honestly write that? I completely agree with you that we should all be more generous in helping, volunteering and donating to our local charities (of which I heavily do). However, you can’t compare a global tragedy where up to 200,000 people have just died and tens of thousands more will die without proper medical treatment (that can be easily provided through donations to the Red Cross) to the picture you posted of an unfortunate drunk passed out in front of an ATM. Yeah…our… Read more »
nacholibre
Member
nacholibre
6 years 4 months ago

Just got the email from HQ looking for volunteers for a 2 week trip there. Preference given to those with basic French or Spanish skills, luckily I paid attention in high school Spanish.

“HOLA NIÑOS! ME LLAMO Matt Foley y yo soy un ‘MOTIVATIONAL speaker.’ Yo tengo trecenta y cinco ain-yose, yo yoy-soy tres divorciado, y yo vivo en VAN CERCA-DE-UN-RIO!”

Seriously, hope I can help out and be H411’s Haiti bureau correspondent.

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