A handful of change dropped in a cup. A check sent each month. A few dollars put in the basket. A bag of clothes donated. A few hours of time spent. For some reason, we are inclined to give to those in need ecause charity is ingrained in society as a form of karmic balance.
Charitable organizations in the United States have exceeded 1.5 million, ranging from religious institutions to animals rights’ organizations, and Americans are more than happy to shell out some spare change — and then some. If it is ‘for a good cause,’ why not give? But is that always the case — is it always for a good cause?
Some, like Chris Zivalich in his article “You’re Not Helping,” argue that charity can in fact cause more harm than good (pg. 18). While donors may feel fulfilled from giving aid to ‘improve’ the lives of others, it may actually be humiliating for those receiving the tail end of this tax break.
For students, the problem may not be whether their help is truly impacting others. Charitable organizations on campus have seen a decline in participation, making us wonder if our generation is selfish or if there are other factors keeping us from volunteering (“Time Not Spent” by Marissa Framarini, pg. 12).
Even with all the apathy, some hipsters are in on the charity train — though they may be led astray. Some trendy stores are making a profit by using the cause of ‘native preservation’ as a fashion statement — one is even exploiting Navajo prints to boost sales (“Exploitation is the New Black” by Mimi Reynolds, pg. 29). However, there are brands designed to help society while still sprucing-up the wardrobe (“Rebuilding Haiti, Fiber by Fiber” by Brittany Romano, pg. 34).
Charity isn’t universally defined; in fact, there are different qualifications for what charity entails across different religions. However, it has been collectively agreed upon that a consciousness of social justice is needed to add more substance to these good deeds (“Passing the Hat” by Nicole Arocho Hernández, pg. 22).
In this issue of Buzzsaw, we break down the various motivations and consequences that come from altruistic actions. Because whether it’s for disaster relief, trauma patients or boobies, we feel good when we give a little … right?
Image by Daniel Sitts
News & Views
BuzzCuts: Global Giving by Kacey Deamer
A look at financial donations in the United States and the Top 5 nations that give the most.