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Charity or employment?

November 29, 2010

We regularly contribute to charities including local, national, and international organizations.  Some of this is driven by a sense of obligation; we have a lot and feel that we should help those who don’t.  (This is also known as “guilt”.  I am slowly recovering from this and learning to resist.)  We also tend to contribute in lump sums to organizations so that we receive tax receipts thereby maximizing our ability to contribute.  Some contributions are driven by peer pressure and the pressure of our children.  Passing a Salvation Army kettle without contributing is easy if I am by myself but by children tend to want to contribute.  Of course, they tend to want to use my money.

I’ve been thinking about charitable donations.

Wouldn’t it be better to use the money that I might contribute to some place like the Salvation Army to employ someone instead?

I could donate $100 or I could hire someone to clean my house two times for $50 each time.  Isn’t it better for someone to work for the money rather than having  things given to them?  Isn’t it better to build pride and a worth ethic by rewarding hard work with money rather than just giving handouts for doing nothing?

Surely you’ve heard the stories about the Great Depression.  Men asked to do work in exchange for food and/or shelter.  They did not just expect that others would give them handouts.   Have you ever expected to be given something that was not earned?  If you have received something unearned, how did you feel?

I’m quite convinced.  Rather than putting coins into the Salvation Army buckets this Christmas season, I should hire one or two people to help me around the house or to shovel our walks.

Now … how do I find people to hire?

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