My mother once told me that she refuses to give to domestic charities.
Her reasoning is that she advocates, through election work as a private citizen, through campaign donations, and through her vote, for government programs to help U.S. residents living in poverty and among disaster. Welfare, tax credits, these are the things that should take care of our people. As a patriotic lady, she believes that our nation is too great to be expected to toss people out into the street to depend on the largesse of private citizens.
By contrast, she reasons, we don't vote in, say, Haiti, Peru, the Phillippines. There are places around the world where residents more badly off, and where we have less pressure to apply. Giving to international charities that do good work is really our way to help people there in a meaningful way from afar.
I'm coming around to her line of thinking. There's much vitriol these days about how government isn't supposed to be a "charity," but why not? If there's anything we should be using our tax dollars for, in my opinion, it's homelessness, starvation, lack of access to heat and energy. And also health care, but that's a story for another post, I guess.
So I think I am going to take that tack for the time being. Donate abroad, fight domestically.
I'll be taking tee-shirt orders shortly.