Charity Begins at Home, for Most

December 3, 2013 will mark the second annual day of giving aptly named “#GivingTuesday.” This recent tradition follows Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and Cyber Monday, two of the biggest consumer days in the United States. The point of #GivingTuesday is to encourage shoppers to think about “giving” and to remember the less fortunate in their holiday rush.

National Relief Charities (NRC) participates in #GivingTuesday through our holiday store.

American generosity steers $135.8 billion in donations toward humanitarian causes each year, and reportedly, only 3-5% of it is goes to overseas causes. I found this surprising because we at NRC so often hear this question: “Why does so much aid go overseas? Why aren’t we taking care of our own?” According to these statistics, charity really does begin at home. We simply aren’t steering much of it toward Native causes – only 3/10 of 1 percent.

Let’s remember this when we decide where to give this holiday season. Let’s remember it because, even while the bigger problems of the world need resolving, who keeps the poor from going hungry, the student from going without education, the underserved here at home from being served? The big problems are not all in the Third World. We have Third World conditions in the U.S.

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