Report: Secular charity is up, but religious donations are down
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/19/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
A report from Giving USA reveals that philanthropy is on the rise again, following recovery from the Great Recession, but that charity is down in one key sector --religious charity. Fortunately, Catholics do seem to be doing their part, spurred to action by a courageous pontiff.
Charitable giving is needed all year around.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Giving USA report, the most-read report on philanthropy in the U.S., shows that charitable giving in the United States is on the rise again. From 2008 onwards, charity has been in a slump due largely to the Great Recession, a period where people had to pinch pennies and fend for themselves. This also had the expected effect of placing more demands on charities.
Now, the U.S. economy is in recovery, or at least for Wall Street. Main Street is also experiencing recovery, albeit a very slow one. This slow climb out of recession means that big philanthropy is back in fashion as wealthy people open their purses for the causes that are dear to them. However, the common folk who support religious charities are barely able to give.
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The Giving USA report shows that charitable giving to religious causes has actually dropped while giving on other areas has increased.
One exception could be in the Catholic Church where millions of American Catholics have responded to a plea from Pope Francis to feed the poor and hungry. These people are very dear to the Pope and he has championed their cause since long before he arrived in Rome.
Your Catholic Voice Foundation reports that a substantial number of food donations came in during the early months of 2014, but that donations have since dropped to virtually zero.
This means that Catholics have done well, at least initially in 2014, but that with the arrival of summer, many have forgotten the Pope's call to feed the hungry. Unfortunately, while Americans may take vacations in the summer, hunger never takes a day off in the rest of the world. This means that donations are needed desperately as stocks around the globe are depleted during these months.
Certainly, the stores will be resupplied in November as charitable giving picks up again in the fall and winter, but between now and then the situation is likely to worsen.
Experts also say that Americans are losing interest in religious institutions. An increase in the number of Americans with no religious affiliation, as well as a rise in atheism and a drop in church attendance has hammered Christian charities with cuts. As donations drop, so too must charities adjust their budgets, always trying to do more with less.
Whatever information may be gathered in the Giving USA report, and whatever conclusions can be drawn from it, it's all secondary to the immediate needs of the people before us. Right now, today, there are sick and hungry children who deserve food, medicine and education. This isn't about Christians vs. atheists or those who attend church and those who stay home. This is about saving lives.
As individuals we have the power to make a difference. The networks are in place and the plan is ready. All that's needed is for you to arrive with the gift of life. We'll handle the legwork.
Please consider giving to the poor. Below are a number of programs and choices for you to target your donations.
Answer Pope Francis' call to 'Prayer and Action' and feed those in need.
Heal the sick by sending medicine to the poor.
End the evils of abortion by supporting a pro-life program that's proven to work.
Empower kids with moral education by providing them with quality learning tools.
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Support for Persecuted Christians. That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.
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