Tis the Season to Give?

December 01, 2005

With today being World AIDS Day, I thought it would be appropriate to point out an excellent analysis offered in the December issue of Mother Jones magazine. Who Gives A $%&t?

While not about AIDS giving, it really takes America to task when it comes to charitable giving in general. Here are some highlights:

"Americans spend $8 billion on Christmas decorations, almost twice what the United States spends on aid to Africa."

"IN 2002, Americans deducted $654 million for cars they donated to charity—7 times what the cars were actually worth."

"A TYPICAL AMERICAN child receives 70 new toys a year, most of them at Christmas."

"THE AVERAGE American family throws away 14% of its food. 1 in 9 families are never sure they’ll have enough to eat."

"AMERICANS SPEND $8 billion on Christmas decorations, almost 4 times what they give to protect animals and the environment."

"A MINNESOTA company has made $758,000 selling 'His Essence'—a candle that smells the way the Bible says Jesus will upon his return (myrrh, aloe, and cassia)."

"U.S. DONATIONS made thus far per victim of 9/11, Katrina, and the tsunami, respectively: $736,771; $2,827; $1,173."

"GIFT BAGS for Academy Award presenters contained $100,000 worth of freebies."

"JOHN TRAVOLTA piloted his 707 filled with 5 tons of food and 450 tetanus doses to New Orleans, where he met fellow Scientologists providing “therapy” to Katrina victims."

"FEMA’S WEBSITE listed Operation Blessing, Pat Robertson’s faith-based organization, second on its list of charities that would speed relief to Katrina victims. LAST YEAR, Operation Blessing gave half its donations—$885,000—to the Christian Broadcasting Network, of which Robertson is chairman."


So are we surprised that there is not enough money left over to help "the least of these" who really need it?

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