Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Helping the Poor: Avoinding the CCHD Part II

I recently received this donation envelope from my parish:

At first glance at this envelope, one might think that money donated to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) goes directly to helping the poor. You may have visions in your mind of soup kitchens, homeless shelters and St. Vincent de Paul charities.

Read the envelope closely.   

According to the CCHD grant list (pdf), approximately 90% of their grants go to community organizing. As far as I can tell, none of the money went to promote human development between conception and birth. As recently as last year, the CCHD had donated money to left-leaning and partisan organizing groups such as ACORN. A letter on the USCCB website (pdf) claims funding to ACORN has been cut off and that an investigation is underway.  

I do not know much about community organizing, but I can appreciate the old saw:
Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for life.

I have no problem with community organizing in theory. Insofar as such projects focus on "teaching men to fish" then I'm in favor of them. Economic development is undoubtedly a good thing. However, I suspect many of the community organizing projects sponsored by CCHD support partisan, predominately leftist causes and candidates. The fact that money went to ACORN is case in point.  

You may recall that ACORN is under investigation in Ohio for voter fraud and that they unabashedly supported the Obama campaign. While ACORN's theory of encouraging poor people to vote is good, its practice of encouraging poor people to vote for a specific (pro-choice) candidate is bad.

Until the CCHD finishes its investigation and implements safeguards to ensure no USCCB money will support pro-abortion and/or partisan causes, I would suggest avoiding the CCHD and helping the poor in other ways. Let me recommend Food for the Poor.  Their website states,
[Food for the Poor] provide[s] food, housing, health care, education, water projects, micro-enterprise development assistance and emergency relief to the poorest of the poor

According to the CFC, their overhead is just 3.8%.  In other words, over 96% of the money they raise goes straight to helping the poor. My beautiful wife and I contribute to them regularly.

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