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Question: Does charity promote a culture of peace?, For the giver? for those who receive? CPNN article: Reason for the season: gifts for poor families at christmas
CPNN Administrator
Posted: Dec. 31 2002,13:06

Comments received previously about this article have focused on different issues. Several people noted that the primary focus of the article was on the importance of volunteering and its value for those who give of their time as well as for the recipients of the charity.

But there were expressed concerns about the impact of these gifts emphasizing the powerlessness of the providers of the families: "I just wonder how harmful such charity can be towards the feelings of self worth in these families." Even with such concerns, however, people applauded the charity generally: "I definitely feel that it is a good thing to donate such gifts, but I feel that it would be more beneficial if the gifts were given to the parents who in turn gave them to their children."

Several comments questioned the use of corporate gifts for charity. Can they be seen as diversions to distract people from the extent to which exploit the vulnerability of poor people? "It seems even poor families have exposure to tv. And tv commercials expose poor kids to a colossal plethora of toys and games that are presented as 'must haves'. On this basis alone, it may be a good point that the promoters of desires that cannot be fulfilled should make an effort to fill the empty lives of poor children."

As there is a lot of suspicion of the motives behind corporate giving, the executives and boards of corporations who do act out of generous motives need understand they must be articulate about what they are doing and why, and possibly even expect not too much gratitude over the short term, until the public perception changes.
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