Give with discernment

Many people are eager to help with the disaster in Haiti, but it is important to know whether the group you are donating to is legitimate and effective.  I prayed that many people would give to help with the disaster relief and to get more tuned in to how much they can help around the world all year long and how much joy there is in giving.  Many times disasters like this draw funds that would have supported other worthy endeavors, so it is important that collectively people give more in total than they had planned.

Verum Serum had a good list to start with:

  • Red Cross – You can donate via the website or by calling 1-800-733-2767. They also have a cell phone donation scheme. If you text “Haiti” to 90999, $10 will be charged on your phone bill and given to the Red Cross.
  • The Salvation Army is already committing $50K and more than 20 tons of food aid to Haiti. They have a blog about their efforts here. They are accepting donations here.
  • World Vision is a Christian aid and relief group that is already shipping 18 tons of supplies to Haiti.
  • I stole borrowed this about another good charity, Compassion International, from Edgar at the Christian Alert.  It is a good example of how far money goes in foreign countries. 

    Compassion International

    Join Compassion International‘s Diaster Relief fund:

    • $35 helps provide a relief pack filled with enough food and water to sustain a family for one week.
    • $70 gift helps care for their needs for two weeks.
    • $105 helps provide relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain two families for two weeks.
    • $210 gift helps care for two families’ needs.
    • $525 provides relief packs filled with enough food and water to sustain 10 families for two weeks.
    • $1,050 gift cares for 10 families’ needs.
    • $1,500 helps rebuild a home.
    • $2,100 supplies 20 families with the basics for three weeks.

    0 thoughts on “Give with discernment”

      1. We’ve partnered with World Vision for 10 years and 3 sponsor children. They have been highly accountable with donations and I’ve been able to see the ministry operations first hand when visiting Kenya.

        Sent from my iPhone


    1. I’m a fan of the Red Cross. I did hear some negative comments about the texting (it has raised a TON of money) in that you get a lot of follow-up texts asking you for other Red Cross donations.

      Regarding Compassion International, I’ve been meaning to tell you that I heard they “hire” bloggers to go on mission trips for them and blog about the trips. I think the “pay” is that you get to go on the trip at no cost. Not sure of details, but it seemed like it was up your alley.


      1. Follow up requests are the bane of donations. I told one ministry that I would donate provided they sent me no follow up mail. They complied.

        Sent from my iPhone


    2. I worked in a Red Cross Shelter after Katrina. We began calling them the Double Cross. They would give totally wrong info to people desperatly trying to find vouchers and places to stay. I spent all my time talking to people (and trying to calm them down) who were at the end of their rope, trying as best I could with the info I had to help them get the assistance they needed. It was unbelievable. So I really don’t have a very positive opinion of that organization.

      UMCOR is a good place to give your money.


        1. Neil, I really believe it was an organizational problem. But, I could be wrong about that. Given my experience, I wouldn’t send them a dime of my money.


        2. “I wouldn’t send them a dime of my money.”

          These type comments give me great concern. Whenever any big name charity has problems, contributions to ALL charities drop substantially. A lot of people decide that they don’t have the discernment Neil talked about, and so they just ignore all requests.


    3. I gave through UMCOR. I also trust Salvation Army. Both uses donations for the specific purpose to which you donated. I will never give to the Red Cross again after they took 9/11 money people donated and used it for other pruposes. Also, do not donate in reply to a telemarketer phone. Usually there is a significant cut off your donation for “operating expenses”.


    4. I just increased my monthly contribution to Samaritan’s Purse.

      They were there anyway.

      I like them because they make it clear where the help is coming from and why.

      It doesn’t help to save a life a lose a soul.


      1. Agreed. It is important to meet spiritual and physical needs. We should focus on spiritual first, I think, but it is hard to share the Gospel with people who have died.


        1. Absolutely right. That would be coercion, and that has no place in authentic Christianity. At CareNet Pregnancy Center, for example, we offer to share the Gospel with every client. But whether they are interested or not they get the same love and attention. It makes a great witness either way.


    5. Of course you are right. That is how it works, but people are just aware of where the help came from, not from man but from God.

      I once read an article by a former witch doctor. He said that what finally won him over was the people from Samaritan’s Purse. There are no conditions on their help and they help anybody. He wanted to get to know a God like that.


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