Letter: Be wise when you donate to a cause
During this holiday season, and especially after a crisis such as Sandy, it is sad to say, but so many organizations and associations feed off the hearts of people such as you and I to feed their associations. This is no more than what I can see as a modern-day Hari Krishna movement, which is a group of people, who if they are persistent enough, can get through life getting everything for free and not have to pay for anything; food, shelter, power, cars, medical care.
They only help people within their group, who join only to agree to do what is called canvassing — asking for donations, etc. It is not much more different than the person standing on the corner with a sign. They sit outside grocery stores sometimes at tables asking you to go in and buy food for their food drive and asking you to be volunteers. Here are some things to do before you give money: ask for a nonprofit status; they should have one. Ask their purpose.
Ask who they help. Look up politicalcults.blogspot.com; an article on charitable organizations of the National Labor Federation. It names several, many are in our area. You will be amazed. I was. My advice, stick with the churches and local food banks.