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The Red Kettle Conundrum: To Give - Or Not To Give To The Salvation Army ...Or Anyone Else For That Matter!

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While not all charities are tainted with scandal and improprieties, donating to charities these days is still a risky business unless you do some research. The Salvation Army's finances, for example are not listed in watchdog groups such as Charity Navigator because religious groups are exempt from filing certain forms with the IRS. Websites for groups like Guidestar, the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance, and Charity Watch (American Institute of Philanthropy) are great starting points for donating for the holidays. And for people who really want to donate to a church organization, provides transparency ratings regarding finances and amounts given to beneficial/humanitarian programs (e.g. Trinity Broadcasting Network has had an "F" rating even before the Paul Crouch gay sex scandal).

Of course, (as in the case of the Salvation Army), people might disagree with only a portion of a charity's practices but agree that a great deal of its work is worthy of a donation. In that case, contact with the charity's local offices might be in order, since many regional offices have a bit of autonomy in regards to beneficiaries and donations. In fact, when in doubt, you might want to use this maxim:

Charity starts at home: in your city or town... in your own community.

That last sentiment brings up the specter of the OWS Movement: local support for OWS protesters in the form of food, medical supplies and shelter might not be tax deductible, but it might help the fight for social justice. Would the Salvation Army do as much for the protesters? 

Hmmm... just a thought.

*the AFA called the Salvation Army's decision to provide benefits to same-sex couples "A monstrous appeasement to sin." Who wouldn't cave in to such pressure?

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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)

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I don't think I am being too hard, just asking for... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 11:59:44 AM
Will the Salvation Army support the OWS?... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:17:06 PM
hear those gd bells: 1) Ask who they voted for. No... by Daniel Geery on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 7:20:21 PM
should not be scrutinized for who they voted for.&... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 9:41:55 PM
In a sense, I have to agree with "Old Codger" beca... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Monday, Nov 28, 2011 at 10:53:14 PM
Once again - who someone votes for and what an org... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 12:04:19 AM
My point was that there are head nabobs in any org... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 1:47:43 AM
obnoxious. I've talked with several of the "r... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 12:57:27 PM
I note that my old friend, James Dobson, " accused... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 1:28:35 PM
When in the states I did contribute, despite my no... by Doc McCoy on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 5:53:39 PM
and I sincerely am pleased to hear it. I plan to b... by Daniel Geery on Thursday, Dec 1, 2011 at 5:52:31 PM
suspect always has been, and always will be, in th... by Doc McCoy on Thursday, Dec 1, 2011 at 9:39:12 PM
I appreciate the opinions expressed in this articl... by Gordon Glick on Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011 at 9:24:37 PM
for the further info on the SA and the IWW. I didn... by Rev. Dan Vojir on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 at 1:23:58 AM
Don't forget this one: do a search in the NYTs on ... by Ted Rodosovich on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011 at 2:47:02 AM