It’s the time of year when the folks looking for donations double down their efforts. “Donate now,” they say, “and double (or triple) your donation because somebody is going to match it. “Do it before the end of the month so it’ll count in your tax returns. Whatever. They’re all worthy causes and we try and do our share but something about donating to overseas causes has bothered me for some time.
We see heart rending photos of children in need; we see devastation in natural and man made disasters, IE: the latest Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines and people rush to give money. This is all good but what bothers me is why don’t we hear what, if anything, the rich/well-to-do/middle class folks in the countries asking for help are doing to help their own people?
It also bothers me that we pour all that money into other countries when we have our own poor that also cry out for help. Yes, there are all sorts of local and national organizations that do what they can for our own people but there never seems to be the same urgency. We provide money to build wells in other lands so people have fresh, clean water yet we have people in our country, notably some Reserves, who don’t have a good water supply; we have people living in substandard accommodations while donating to organizations to build homes for people in other lands.
In no way am I suggesting we should stop helping people in foreign lands, but I believe we should give more priority to people in need in our own backyard.