Question: Dear Luise: I need some personal advice in trying to figure out how to help the people who get hit by natural disasters, poverty and disease and personal tragedies. I have lots of time and a little money but I don’t really know where to put either. I have heard that there are those who misuse donations and people at the other end who don’t handle what is given fairly. What do you suggest? Leonard
Answer: Dear Leonard: I personally seek out people I feel I can trust. I used to feel safe giving to the Red Cross and United Way until I learned that their CEOs both make six-figure salaries. Now, I donate to The Salvation Army whose CEO makes $13,000. a year plus housing running a 2 billion dollar organization. It’s a no-brainer to my way of thinking. I don’t have much extra time but if I did I would probably ask them how I could help in person.
It can be very dangerous to go off on your own and try to see what you can do. I admire the thought but I feel it lacks wisdom. Caution is a necessary part of wisdom. Those who are trained to do that kind of work are ready, willing and able when disaster strikes. They are skilled and experienced at how best to step in and help.
We all get emotional and concerned, or at least most of us do. We watch the pain and suffering, the chaos and despair on TV and we want to help. I think part of helping is staying out of the way and letting the professionals tell us what they need.
I’m sure there are many different ways of looking at this. You asked for my advice and there you have it. I think a whole lot of people doing something small and insignificant can create miracles on a grand scale. Blessings, Luise