...Can we sign you up for a $50 donation? After all, it's for the kids!
You - fine citizen that you are - pay your taxes. On good faith we believe that some of that money is going toward education, relief efforts, retraining for the unemployed.
You - fine Christian that you are - do your level best to help families in need within your parish, your community, your state or another, or to combat the devestation felt more severely by the less fortunate.
When, then - realistically - is enough enough? I confess to you that although I know I am loved by God, I am also given the responsibility to do my best to hold my own--- and whether the lillies of the field had to toil or not, in order to tread water in the US of A on a 'fixed income' I will have to make some hard decisions about what I can do without in order that others can 'do' with what I can donate. This may mean that I will be donating more time than treasure, or offering one talent or another instead of income.
I meant to check w/Debbie, wizard of all things that can be investigated, but couldn't get to her in time. I DO, however, believe that there is a way that you can see - by organization/cause - the percentage of each of your dollars actually goes to the source of the need or the program -- rather than new furniture, a higher advertizing budget, etc.
Jesus told us to give; he also told us to be wise to the ways of the world. Some charities are more on the "up and up" than others.
We here at the Farm highly endorse Episcopal Relief and Development - mainly because they are happy to disclose that the overwhelming amount of their budget and donations go to the needy.
Be gentle as lambs following the Good Shepherd by doing acts of charity and mercy..... but be careful not to get fleeced yourself!