I’ve found at least a temporary alternative to turning on the T.V. during the day (for the most part anyways;) and it is listening to the radio, specifically a local Atlanta radio station, J (Jesus)93.3.
This week, J. 93 did a hard core 2 days of Compassion, trying to get as many Georgians as possible to support children through Compassion International, an organization that supposedly works to support children in many third world countries. One of the draws they tried to accentuate the most was the thrill of giving and receiving mail from the supported child. The president of Compassion claims 80% of the money received goes towards support.
Now, I often here the versus in these situations, “It is better to give than to receive” and “Jesus says whatever you do even to the least of these, you did unto me”…but I also think it might be added that we are told to be wise stewards of our money and should not just give it away without investigating these organizations first in order to be sure our money is indeed going where they claim it is going.
Let me explain. Five years ago, I felt prompted after a church service to support a child through World Vision. I had the money, I felt it would be good to be using that money towards something more valuable than more clothes I didn’t need, and I heard again and again it would change my life. I saw a beautiful little girl from Ecuador who had a rather sad expression on her face in the small black and white picture that seemed to say, “please help me…” and so I tried.
It was easy…I just gave them my debit card number and the payment plan was set; didn’t even have to think about it after that if I didn’t want to. I did though. I put her picture on my bulletin board and soon wrote her a few letters. Time went by but I never received a replies. At Christmas, I got a card supposedly designed by her 5 year old hands but was very obviously, even to the non-technologically minded person such as myself, a computer generated picture and a typed card.
I was so disappointed, not to mention angry! Not only did it seem I would never receive a cute, hand-written note from this girl but it also became clear to me that things were not right and my letters as well as my money may not have been reaching her! I really began to wonder if those at World Vision were not abusing their power and fattening the pockets of their executives and others instead of feeding and educating impoverished children.
About a year went by before I decided I would stop my support. I felt it was better to give it else where than to a place where I was leaving its where abouts up to chance…it might or might not be going to Ecuador.
Listening to the radio has made me think about trying again. Perhaps Compassion International is different? I would be interested to hear from others who know anything about this or other similar organizations. Are any definitely trustworthy?