Case Studies in Charity and Giving

Democrats have been waiting for the correct alignment of the stars and planets to execute their New-New Deal, FDR-ish plan of big government imposition into the lives of Americans.  It seems things are aligning perfectly with a souring economy, rising unemployment and faltering markets.  And like the New Deal – this course planned by Dems will result only in swelled government spending, newly-entrenched entitlements and the further eradication of capitalism in the US.

But during this holiday season, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the generosity of citizens who give – acts of charity that mean more and do more for people than any bloated government bureaucracy or program.  It is this spirit of giving, not socialist handouts, that have historically defined this nation and the self-determination of the American people.  Amazingly enough, I found all of these examples while surfing DN- errrr….CNN.com.

CASE STUDY #1

A Christmas tradition continues in Los Angeles

A man known only as the “El Dorado Elf” handed out roughly $13,000 to the needy Tuesday.

He gave out the money in ten dollar bills to men, women and children at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row. Hundreds of people lined up at the mission, with some waiting as long as eight hours to receive their Christmas cash.

It has been a tradition since the early 1980s to hand out money at the mission around Christmastime. Back then, car dealer Ronald Moran began showing up each year in his Cadillac to pass out thousands of dollars. He was affectionately dubbed “Cadillac Santa” by grateful recipients.

After Moran died in 1992, his friend — who was the attorney for Moran’s dealership — stepped in to fill the void. The man, a 67-year-old semi-retired lawyer identified only as Bill, earned the nickname “El Dorado Elf,” because he drives a Cadillac El Dorado.

One of the more touching facts about this example is that Bill picked up where Ronald Moran left off.  The charitable tradition could have died off when Mr. Moran passed away, but there were those who believed in charity and the generosity of Mr. Moran enough to keep things alive.  I know that $10 isn’t a lot of money, but it means a lot to many people.  And the act of charity in any form is to be encouraged.

Bill said the money, which comes from himself and his friends, is more needed than ever in today’s slumping economy. “Just because I’ve taken a hit, is that any reason that the homeless should suffer?” he said. “I’ve got so much more than they’ve got.”

“It’s the highlight of my year,” beamed the El Dorado Elf.

God bless you, Bill.

CASE STUDY #2

An anonymous donor gives $1 million to victims of an apartment fire

An anonymous donor has come forward with $1,000,000 for the victims of the Burnsville apartment fire.

The Goodman Group, which owns the Burnscliff Apartment complex, says each leaseholder will receive a check for $17,543.86……

Monday’s fire destroyed a 64-unit apartment complex and left nearly 200 people homeless.

Donations of clothes, food and toys filled Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville Tuesday. The church says it now has more than enough clothes for fire victims, but it could still use hygiene items and undergarments.

Many fire victims are able to stay with family and friends. The Salvation Army is helping those who don’t have a place to stay.

An individual donor, a church, local citizens and the Salvation Army all came to the aid of these displaced folks. You can’t always plan for tragedy.  Sometimes things occur beyond your control, and it is heartening to see the community step up to the plate and provide relief for these victims of circumstance.

God Bless the community of Burnsville,  Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, the Salvation Army and that unsung, anonymous hero.

CASE STUDY #3

A cookie factory reopens and gives Christmas cheer to employees

According to the article, Ashland, Ohio had been hard-hit by the current economic downturn.  The Ashway cookie factory in Ashland shut its doors in October of this year – leaving 300 workers unemployed just before the holidays.  These newly unemployed workers were faced with a decision – stay put or move elsewhere to find a job.  We know that uprooting and moving cost money, so many of these folks were likely in an untenable situation.  Now enter Lance, Inc.

Some 300 workers lost their jobs when the Archway cookie factory in Ashland, Ohio, was suddenly closed by the private equity firm that owned it. The workers also were left without benefits like health insurance.

But then Lance Inc., a Charlotte, North Carolina-based snack food company, purchased Archway at a bankruptcy auction. And last week 60 workers were asked to return immediately, with perhaps more coming back in the months ahead…..

When it promised to reopen the bakery, Lance gave all 300 former Archway workers a $1,500 prepaid debit card…..

David Singer, CEO of Lance, says the gift cards were a way of letting Ashland know the new owners are different. “We wouldn’t do it willy-nilly,” Singer says. “We do want to make money. But this is the pool of folks that we intend to hire. We just wanted to let them know who we were.”

The 60 workers rehired so far are earning their previous salary and retained their seniority. They also were provided health insurance from day one.

The bakery now produces Lance cookies that are sold to big chains like Target and Wal-Mart. But production of Archway cookies is scheduled to resume soon. Lance has told the employees that it hopes to have the plant fully operational by the end of 2009 — that is, five lines of cookies being produced simultaneously.

The new owners say that if new orders keep flowing in, more jobs will follow.

Yep.  You heard it right.  One of those greedy, money-grubbing corporations actually did something right.  Lance Inc. not only reopened the factory – they gave $1500 gift cards to the former employees (even those not immediately rehired), offered day-one health benefits and pledged to draw their employees from those who were left jobless by the factory closure.

God bless the folks at Lance Inc. for trying to do right to the unemployed workers in Ashland, Ohio.

CONCLUSION

This has been a short case study with three examples.  Now, as my former college and grad school professors would say, it is time to draw some conclusions from the case studies.  Three examples do not give cause to make sweeping generalizations, but they do offer some insight.  And in this case, we have some insight into helping others in this nation.

I hate to take these sweet, wonderful cases and turn them into something partisan – but my conclusions are derived from these examples of love, giving and charity.  Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and other socialist sympathizers would have us believe that the government is the only answer to helping those who are unemployed, homeless, poor, destitute or victims of circumstance.  I am here today to say otherwise.

Look at who is in charge now.  Over the past decade, Obama and his wife have given less than 6% of their income to charity.  More incredibly, Joe Biden has given an average of $369 a year (.3% of his income) to charitable causes.  Of course Biden is the one who famously said it was our “patriotic duty” to pay more taxes.  He must regard this as charitable donations.  Pay more money to the federal government so that they can funnel more cash into impotent programs supposedly aimed at helping the unfortunate.  If that is the case, then our portion of tax dollars that go into those useless programs should be regarded as charitable donations that are tax exempt thus meaning we shouldn’t pay any tax at all for that.  Right?  Good luck making that argument in court.

The main point of this post is that individual citizens, communities, churches/religious organizations, charities and even businesses/corporations are more effective when it comes to aiding those in need.  That is the history of this nation.  Any charitable organization that mismanages money or allocates too much of its revenue to administrative expenses risks having its tax-exempt status yanked.  Yet similar government programs that are ineffective and bloated with bureaucracy and administrative costs are not subject to the same scorn and scrutiny.  What hypocrisy.

We don’t need more government.  We need more generosity, charity and giving  independent of government.  This maybe a tough sell in difficult economic times, but it is our tradition.  And it is what makes this nation unique.  Merry Christmas to all.  And don’t forget your neighbor this holiday season.

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6 thoughts on “Case Studies in Charity and Giving

  1. I enjoy and respect your blog. Would you consider exchanging blogroll links?

    I don’t care about whether links and comments agree or disagree with my views as long as they are witty or intelligent, and your blog is both!!

    The only important thing is that we all have intelligent discussions about how to lift up America for our best possible future.

    Our future is what we make it, and idiot Congress and moron elected officials have proven by example that if we do nothing, we have no future.

    It helps to have some entertainment, satire and laughs along the journey.

    My blog address is http://franklynchusa.wordpress.com

    Simply name it “ franklynchusa ”

    If you have time and room,

    My ideological website is worth a visit. It contains my 2008 Presidential campaign that introduced the issues adopted by the other candidates, with a Top Ten List that America needs, is http://www.franklynch.org

    Kindly please name it either just “ franklynch.org ” or “ Frank Lynch the Futurist “

    With passion for our future,

    Frank Lynch the Futurist

    Email frank at franklynch dot org

  2. Philip, you are so right! And what wonderful case studies you found!

    My Pop (who died a year ago October) had a farm. As long as I could remember, his method of getting farm help was to find someone (usually through word of mouth) who was down on their luck and allowing them to live in a small trailer on his property in exchange for work around the farm and a little pocket money.

    People would stay a little while, then find a “regular” job and apartment and move on. Then Pop would have another person move in.

    A tiny trailer seems like a huge come down to so many of us, but it was the thing that allowed those people to pull themselves up and start over.

    If we all took personal responsibility for our fellows rather than expecting “someone” or the government to do something, we’d be living the way God always intended us to live I believe. And be better for it.

  3. “Pay more money to the federal government so that they can funnel more cash into impotent programs supposedly aimed at helping the unfortunate. ”

    I wish and I bet you wish it was Help. But it is not Help. It’s Enabling. Our government doesn’t understand the difference between the two. Help is temporary. Enabling is forever.

  4. Phil, this was such a thoughtful post. I am certain it would draw ire from many socialist loving types.

    I believe Obama is seeing the light. All objective decisions and hints so far have suggested him to be a centrist at worst. But you never know.

  5. It bothers me that because I am conservative I am painted by the left as a person who does not care about the poor. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. I would rather give the poor widow down the street $10 then give the government $10 who would then give the widow 10 cents. I want to help the poor that is why I don’t want the politicians trying to get a piece of the action.

    I also believe that helping the poor doesn’t mean just giving them money, it means giving them self respect. Give them an opportunity to work, earn and feel productive. In my opinion there is nothing that says “Great White Father” more than government welfare programs.

  6. “It bothers me that because I am conservative I am painted by the left as a person who does not care about the poor.”

    Same here. I have tons of compassion for poor people. I have little compassion for deadbeats who don’t want to work, wouldn’t take any job at any rate of pay, and expect other people to support them.

    The Left believes we have to sweep up every person with no money and help them out even if some of them are not worthy of help.

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