Toxic Charity

Having read Lupton’s analysis of this complicated issue as presented in the book Toxic Charity, do you feel more inspired to perform charitable work?  Discouraged?  Has it changed your thinking about how to give? If so, how? Where can the average committed social advocate go from here?

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13 thoughts on “Toxic Charity

  1. “Everything depends upon the lens through which we view reality” (82).

    In Toxic Charity, author Robert Lupton views reality through a “lens” most of society would find quite uncomfortable. He provides an uncommon perspective on churches and charitable organizations in explaining how these entities actually hurt those they are attempting to help. Lupton effectively explores this paradox through the use of his personal experiences administering aid and development in Nicaragua as well as both urban and suburban Atlanta. Though, to my disappointment, this book only briefly touches on the plight of aid in Africa, Toxic Charity certainly changed the way I view charity and how charitable works and donations should be administered.

    I admire Lupton’s candor in providing the reader with his view of charity in today’s world. More specifically, how the majority of charity is derived from the provider’s search for intrinsic value, a “feel good” factor for themselves, rather than focusing on the needs and priorities of the aid recipients. Lupton provides a perfect illustration of this principle in describing a particular church in Mexico that was repainted six times in one summer by six different mission groups (14). What if the travel expenses incurred and other funds raised by these six mission groups were instead invested in areas of actual need for this village, such as infrastructure improvements? Consistent examples of these misguided, albeit genuine, attempts to help lead Lupton to label mission trips as merely “religious tourism” (14). Difficult not to agree.

    I also found Lupton’s exploration of the psychology of charity recipients to be quite interesting. As Lupton emphasizes, the actual impact of the aid on the aid’s recipients is often lost in the quest to give and to reap the benefits of giving. The psychological impact is an afterthought. Lupton often references the psyche of these charity recipients in his illustration of the detriments of one-way giving. He warns of a rapid progression from the appreciation of charity to anticipation, from the expectation of charity to a feeling of entitlement, and finally, the curse of dependency (130). To simply give to others what they could have achieved themselves robs them of their independence and initiative. Eventually, individuals lose sight of the merit and necessity of their own hard work. From the perspective of a large group, this path can kill the entrepreneurial spirit of a village and, with it, the ability of the town to advance and provide for its people.
    However, I do not universally agree with Lupton and his examples of the psychological exploitation of charity recipients. One case, in particular, drew my annoyance. Virgil, a father, a husband, a charity recipient, and a neighbor of Lupton’s in Atlanta, bitterly describes the “price he has paid” as a result of church volunteers building and landscaping a new home for his family (149). He goes so far as to unveil a deep resentment toward volunteers in general because Virgil feels his pride has taken a hit as he believes he is looked down upon because he is poor (149). To quote a frequent saying by PC sophomore Kyle Alexander, “get over yourself, dude.” Please do not mistake my stance as insensitivity for the less fortunate. Though I will never experience situation such as Virgil’s, one day I will have a family of my own. I simply cannot fathom an instance where I allow my “manly pride” to take precedence over improving the lives and futures of my wife and kids. Virgil was not robbed of his own initiative or forced to beg for a new house. No, in my opinion, Virgil’s perceived hubris over any semblance of gratitude or appreciation serves as a minor discredit to an otherwise strong case made by Lupton.

    To Lupton’s merit, he does not merely critique churches and charities; rather he provides a structure and suggestions for improvements to more effectively help these groups and organizations achieve their intended purpose: aiding the less fortunate. After completing Toxic Charity, I fully believe that performing charitable work the right way is of utmost importance going forward. In order to do so, I believe Lupton’s distinction between “betterment” and “development” should be universally understood by all administering charitable aid. “Betterment,” Lupton explains, provides immediate relief (166). In emergency and disaster situations, “betterment” serves a worthwhile purpose. However, in many cases, development is what is needed. Development employs a long-term approach and looks to enable and empower people to do for themselves (167). Development is sustainable. Prolonged betterment breeds dependency.

    I believe an adjusted emphasis towards development, and away from “betterment,” must be the future of most charitable organizations. Enabling others to do for themselves, rather than simply doing for others, enriches the lives of the providers, and improves the lives of the impoverished.

  2. After having read Toxic Charity I find myself debating on the good that I have done in my past. Before having read this read Toxic Charity by Robert D. Lupton, I would have never even considered the overall damage I was doing when performing “charity.” But after considering all of the effects of this charity, I found myself realizing that maybe performing charity was just something that made me good about myself.

    Early in Toxic Charity it is made apparent that charity is done irresponsibly. President of poverty stricken countries have spoken and said that all of the aid being poured in their country has created beggars and hurt the initiative of the people. It leads to a decrease in innovation and over-all makes countries far off worse than they were before the countries were awarded these grants.

    One of the main parts of the books that really symbolizes how charity can be detrimental to those to which it is given is when Lupton finds himself in the home of a family during Christmas. The children are crowded around the windows looking for “Santa’s helpers” when the people who are giving out the gifts come to the door to give the family their gifts. The dad of the family sneaks out of the back door while the children eagerly unwrap the presents that the charity has provided them. This part stands out due to the fact that this fathers sense of pride has been humiliated with a “charity” giving out free gifts. He can’t provide for his family and is disgraced by this fact. This part of the book right here stands out to me how charities can be hurtful or humiliating to the people receiving it.

    There is still good in people that love to help out others as we see with people like Jimmy Carter, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet. Even with mass amounts of money and resources charities can still be unsuccessful. When looking whether or not a charity is worth putting your resources in, you should see if the people actually have to work and see if it builds self sufficiency rather than deplete it. Rather than giving the poverty money, teach them how to make money or teach them lessons on how to be successful. Therefore, when they run out of money, you won’t have to give them more and more.

    Charitable work can still be used to help the poor but it has to be done by more than just top down. Massive amounts of money given to the poor may still fail. You have to have ideas that will work. Make people work for what they receive rather than give it to them. My views have changed on charities after reading this book where Lupton frankly tells it how it is.

  3. After reading Toxic Charity by author Robert Lupton my thoughts on charity and kindhearted giving seem to have been confirmed. I have always been the type of person that is constantly willing to lend a helping hand to people in need. Don’t get me wrong; charitable giving is good for the heart and good for the people receiving it if it is given in the right way. As Lupton says in his book, “Charitable giving of money that is used in the wrong way does not empower the recipient to better him or herself but rather leads to the person losing their pride and actually makes them worse off because they realize that the help they receive will keep coming as long as they are willing to accept it. Charitable giving that empowers the recipients to better themselves makes it so that they are willing to change their position in life and better themselves through hard work and education.”

    I think back to Lupton’s writing and of the story of the mission trip to the small, remote town in Honduras. It became apparent that the people of this small town needed a reliable source of water. Women would walk nearly half a mile each day to get water from the stream and carry it back to their homes. When the Presbyterian Church ministry made it to the small town they decided to dig a well for the people. They dug this well in the middle of town, not with the help of the people, but for the people. The citizens of the small town were more than capable of doing the work needed to drill the well and get it into use but the missionaries felt like it was their duty to dig it for them. As the well was finished, everyone cheered and applauded the work that was done. How could the townspeople not cheer? They didn’t have to walk a half-mile for their water anymore and they didn’t have to do any of the work to make the well happen. What the residents didn’t realize is that they had now become dependent on the missionaries to keep this well in operation.

    A few months after the church mission had left, the pump that gave the people the much-needed water had broken. The people went back to the half-mile trek to carry their water from the stream and waited for the mission to return the next year to fix the pump for them. Year after year this went on and the residents knew that the mission would be back each year to fix the pump for them. Granted, this well was great for the people of this small Honduran town but if they couldn’t fix the well without the outside help of the mission, did it really do that much good?

    Lupton goes on to tell a similar story of a small Central American town’s need for water. This time the Chicago based Opportunity International micro lending group decided to go about the digging of the well differently. They decided to enlist the help of the villagers to dig the well and did nothing but offer them assistance in the matter. Opportunity International helped the town set up a budget to save the funds needed to have a drilling company come in and drill the well. They helped the townspeople set up a business plan so that once the well was in place and working, they could then provide water to other water needy towns nearby. The people of the town paid for the well and the people did the work. Men from the town dug the trenches for the piping and then laid the pipes. Once the system was in place the residents of the town all had running water to their house but they were required to pay a water bill for the water that they used. This made the citizens feel accomplished because they had done all the work and nothing but business advice was given to them. When Opportunity International left the small town the people were self sufficient and could fix the well if it broke down because they had been taught how to. The people were empowered to do their own work and make their own living instead of being reliant on missionaries that would make a trip to do the work for them each year. When you set someone up to succeed on their own and show them what they can accomplish on their own, they feed off this feeling of accomplishment and their pride and self worth is at an all time high.

    Robert Lupton quotes Jacques Ellul in his book that I think explains the whole idea of giving and misgivings in a single paragraph. Ellul says, “It is important that giving be truly free. It must never degenerate into charity, in the pejorative sense. Almsgiving is Mammon’s perversion of giving. It affirms the superiority of the giver, who thus gains a point on the recipient, binds him, demands gratitude, humiliates him and reduces him to a lower state than he had before (Page 34).”

    I have found myself feeling less obliged to give donations or do charitable work for others because it doesn’t actually help them if everything is done for them. If I were to give to someone or a group of people, instead of giving them money or food or clothes, I would be much more willing to assist them through mentoring or by training them to be able to succeed through their own hard work. I have always had the opinion or thought that one’s own hard work is the easiest way to truly free them. It makes them self-reliant and at the end of the day, you can never truly rely 100% on anything other than yourself and your own actions.

  4. “Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.”

    – Chinese Proverb

    When I first began this book, this very well-known proverb kept coming to mind. The more and more I read, I was confused as to how I’ve never thought of the effect of charity before. Don’t get me wrong, I have thought about how homeless people are still homeless, money going into kids leaving the country for mission trips would be better spent just donated, etc. Yet that was the extent of my thought process. I never thought about how to make charity start working instead of just being countless hours and dollars going into a problem that people say “can’t be fixed.” I was especially blown away by my ignorance when Lupton does mention my quote (p108)- then asks, “What if there are no fish?” WHAT?!

    I was astounded by all the research that has gone into the perfection of charity and kept asking myself how I haven’t heard of this new idea. Lupton kept using the word “holistic,” which is becoming more popular in today’s health conscience world. I know people are more into “holistic medicine,” so I decided to look up the definition of holistic- “relating to or concerned with wholes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis or treatment of parts.” Therefore, more people are coming to the conclusion that everything works together and must be treated like so, and this book emphasizes how a community is necessary to improve quality of life everywhere.

    Toxic Charity was exciting, because it was full of things that had never even occurred to me and even better ideas I agreed with. Everyone deserves to be empowered, and that is what Lupton and his associates are trying to do for the impoverished. I was especially impressed by Geralyn Sheehan, who moved to Nicaragua for the pilot study of community development principles used in the states (p109). Sheehan was able to help the villagers without being overpowering, which is what I would probably do. She instead asked the right questions at the right time, and then told them where to go to do it and how (when asked for help). Like when Don wanted to fix the villagers roofs, Sheehan asks, “What about the neediest families who couldn’t afford it, even with three years to pay?” She allowed the villagers to find a solution on their own. And that could be one of the only examples provided and I would have been convinced, but Lupton provided multiple real life scenarios, then stories of what approaches did and did not work. Lupton also gave a detailed account on how the reader can make a difference. I feel this is the most important part of the book. He is making such a difference in lives by helping people to help others.These ideas don’t only apply to charity- they apply to mankind in general. A parent could use these ideas to teach children to be independent adults. A teacher could (definitely should) use the concepts to make sure a student succeeds as an employee. The Oath for Compassionate Service (p128) applies to anyone who is in a position of service (which is most-jobs are created by a need). Lupton understands humanity at a basic level, which is why his projects have helped so many- some may feel it is optimistic for him to have the faith that these people will go for an honest day’s work if given the opportunity, but it is working, isn’t it? I think this book teaches us how to help people better, fostering good relationships and community while strengthening the individual. Or as Lupton says on page 109, “… teach people to both fish and thrive.”

    Lupton talks about the US, and how these practices are harder to put into effect since communities are diminishing and welfare has made people dependent. My parents and I were talking about what I’ve been reading, and my dad says “Welfare has done bad, but at the same time it has helped a lot of people. And you have to remember to pay it forward- if you were on the streets wouldn’t you appreciate someone throwing a five dollar bill your way?” This struck a nerve with me, since the whole book I had been struggling with that thought- if someone is hungry, buy them food (poor or not). My family believes in this, stemming from “treat others how you would like to be treated.” I think Lupton does address this though when he says that when you feel strongly about helping someone out, it is God performing a miracle for that person through you.

    I am excited to get to Cape Town and visit the township to see how they are attempting to teach and empower their people. It will be fascinating seeing what we just read about being put into effect in a country where the people are already proud. I am very glad to have read this book, it opened my mind and is making me wonder what other practices in my life that I see as positive might be destructive.

  5. Pingback: Toxic Charity | hjgray

  6. Before reading Toxic Charity I had mixed opinions about charities and organizations that attempt to help those who are less fortunate than others. While I realize that for the most part these charities benefit those they help, I have always been skeptical of their true effectiveness. It comes as no surprise to me that most of the money that charities raise and donate goes to waste, it seems as if today our motive to do charitable acts is not driven by our desire to help others, but rather the attempt to make ourselves feel better.
    The thought of trying to get away from the current method of charity, one based more around giving rather than truly helping, is a daunting thought, but one that is completely attainable. I can imagine that Lupton, the author of the book, has had his ideas and opinions met with much anger and confusion from the faith community, but what he preaches is the truth; just giving to people instead of making them earn it will destroy a civilization and ultimately a culture. The thing I remember most from Lupton’s book is the story he tells of an organization that installed a well in a village, only to find that upon their return to the village a year later, the women were again walking miles to get their drinking water. While the church gave them the gift of a well they gave them no skills or knowledge on how to maintain it. So when the pump broke down no one was around to fix the well and the village surely couldn’t pay to have it fixed. Examples like this only help to strengthen Lupton’s view on the way we give to the less fortunate, and really should push us to rethink what charity really is and what those giving hearts are trying to accomplish.

  7. Reading toxic charity has the profound effect of opening your eyes to a harsh reality; that sometimes it is better to leave people as they are even in a bad situation. This book has not dwindled my desire to help people but has made me think of the way and manner in which my aid will be administered. It is human nature to feel compassion and yearn to help those in need or those who have faced a travesty. This book has opened my eyes to the fact that we must tread carefully when offering aid or charity to those around us. While our “good intentions” will propel us to act in a generous manner, we must make sure that our generosity does not become the dependent of those who receive it.
    For every action we ha there is an opposite and equal reaction. Our generosity and kindness towards people can sometimes lead to their ultimate demise and downfall. It creates a sense of dependency and leaning on when we continually aid and give to people in need. Instead of them developing ways to cope with, adapt or learn from harsh situations they become dependent on the fact that someone will always come to them with open arms and loving gifts. This ultimately leads to a life of dependent being rather than one of individual survival. Do not take that I am saying as giving is bad, as Lupton also stated. It is just that there is a correct manner and correct way in which charity should be distributed to those in need. Using ways such as having to work a little to receive the charity or gifts creates the mindset that while there are people who will help; you need to have the ability to work to survive on your own still. A correct charity giving way is necessary not only so people don’t become dependent but also so that gifts can be sustained and do not fail.
    Too many times throughout the book and in daily life we see that missionary trips and other gracious acts give great gifts to help better life, but instructions and manners to sustain these gifts are not given so in reality they fail after a short time. When such gifts, maybe like a water pump, are given they need teachings to come with them so that they are kept alive and flourish in the absence of the ones who first give it.
    This book has not discouraged me from performing charitable work but has only enlightened me that there are correct and incorrect ways to carry out such events. Simple ways so that a sense of dependency is not created is a way to better give. if the sense of dependency for every tragic event or social hardship is created then more harm than good will be done. Also making sure that charity is able to be sustained will lead to the better meant of not only those receiving charity but also those who are giving it.

  8. The words “toxic” and “charity” have differing connotations that I would never think to use together. Associating the generous, kind, selfless acts of charity with toxicity seemed contradictory and inflammatory as I judged Robert Lupton’s book by its cover. Little did I know what repercussions charitable work can have on the very ones you are trying to help.

    After reading Toxic Charity I still am inspired to perform charitable works. I have always been quick to give handouts to the homeless throughout my hometown and where I travel. I tend to stay away from those who have signs and are simply “begging” for money, and focus on those who do not ask. They seem to be the ones who are honest and too proud to stoop to beg. I believe those who don’t ask really need some assistance to get back on their feet, and are willing to do whatever it takes.

    I will always have the desire to lend a hand to those in need. But I will take a direct approach towards it. My family always adopts a family through our church during the holiday season. The joy the children will have when they wake up to presents Christmas morning is the only thing most people consider. We forget to realize how this assistance affects the mother and father. As portrayed in this book, the father who could not provide presents for his kids had to step out of the room because he could not handle it. Either parent would feel so ashamed that they could not provide for their family, and could not put the smile, they were witnessing, on their child’s face. If you wanted to be proactive, you could satisfy both the kid and parent’s needs. I agree with the idea of providing temporary employment in exchange for money during the holidays, such as yard work, maintenance, etc. Then the parents feel proud that they can personally pick out presents that they earned from their hard work. This instills new motivation and drive.

    Top down charity does not always work. You have people who take advantage and become dependent of others. This wasteful charity can be witnessed on the international level, such as the “never-ending relief” for Haiti. Initial relief after a disaster is necessary, but “when relief does not transition to development in a timely way, compassion becomes toxic” (7).

    The average committed social advocate can continue performing charitable work, but needs to live by “The Oath for Compassionate Service”. Of course it is much easier to donate money, receive your warm and fuzzy feeling, and be done with it. However, true change comes from the commitment and the determination to see a cause to the end.

    “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    Chinese Proverb

  9. Lupton made a lot of interesting points about charity, and how it can end up being more harmful than helpful. I have done some charity work before, and I am sorry to say that most, if not all, would be classified as “toxic charity.” Lupton says that through our entitlements, programs and charities, we are eroding the work ethic and dignity of the people we serve. The basic message of the book is that, “When we do for those in need what they have the capacity to do for themselves, we disempower them.” (3) Throughout the book, Lupton uses examples off charity that is harmful, and charity that is helpful. What I really like about the book is that the author uses examples that are in our own nation, and not just examples from third-world countries. At the end of the book, Lupton goes into great detail to pick apart and explain “The Oath For Compassionate Service,” which includes principles that will produce effective and helpful charity work.
    A part of the book I thought was very interesting was the section addressing mission trips done by Americans. It says that mission trips are done more for the benefit of the people going than the people that they are going to help. This made sense when I thought about it because every mission trip I have heard of always emphasizes how the people who go are changed, and their faith is revived. Lupton also made a great point by saying the work done by these mission trips are often extremely costly and done by people who should be letting the people do it themselves. The problem with mission trips and church led charity, is that it is often measured by the activity done, not the outcomes. (76)
    One of the main things I took away from this book is that people who are being served need to be able to keep their dignity intact. When rich white people give someone’s children presents on Christmas when the father is working to try and support his family, it takes away his sense of dignity. Any charity that gives things away for free can be toxic because “such charity subtly implies that the recipient has nothing of value the giver desires in return.” (130)
    Another important point made in the book is the term “charity” shouldn’t really be used, and instead “community development” is a better term. Community development is, “an empowering philosophy that begins with the strengths (not problems) that poor communities already have and then builds upon those strengths.” (137) The most important part of this philosophy is that it does not involve doing things for the people, but enabling them to do it themselves. This not only provides the people with a sense of pride and dignity, but most importantly gives the people a chance to lift their heads above their daily struggle to see the opportunities that lay ahead in the future.

  10. “But isn’t it time we admit to ourselves that mission trips are essentially for OUR benefit?” (69).

    Reading Toxic Charity opened my eyes to how unintentionally harmful compassionate giving to charities and other organizations can be. Any time I would hear of someone donating or investing time and money into a program I would always think Wow! That’s awesome! Good for them! After taking in all of Robert Lupton’s research on the matter I will be asking a few more questions before I quickly commend them for their generousity.

    My biggest take away from the book was recognizing beneficial charitable work in comparision to harmful work that people contribute to each year. Growing up in a church that prides itself on the mission work it does, I am so surprised that someone hasn’t caught on to the fact that maybe there is a reason the church sends a team of volunteers to the same place every year… the people they’re serving are waiting on their yearly handout. Lupton asked in the book who wouldn’t just take a free handout with no strings attached? The line that really drove this idea from Lupton home for me was “Religious tourism would have much more integrity if we simply admitted that we’re off to explore God’s amazing work in the world” (69). Basically, don’t set out on a mission trip to a country in crisis thinking you’re going to save them with some care packages and food bags; helping these people build positive work ethic built off the incentive for a better life will ultimately save them.

    There is a right way and a wrong way to make charitable donations. I believe whole heartedly that people should donate whatever they’re able to give to the less fortunate, they just need to make these donations wisely and with a business mindset. With that being said, the book has not discouraged me from donating, but has made me aware that it will be most beneficial to the recipient if I make it in the most constructive and empowering way possible.

  11. As I sat down to read “Toxic Charity” by Robert D. Lupton, I was excited to learn about the correct forms of charitable giving. I quickly learned that 90 percent of American adults are involved personally or financially in the charity industry and that over half of Africa’s 700 million population lives on less than a $1 a day, worse off than they were half a century ago. My brain began to question these figures. It seemed to me that most Americans were selflessly giving, but still Africans were not benefiting from these charitable societies.
    This topic was one that I found most interesting. As Executive Director of Up ‘til Dawn at PC, an all night game that helps raise awareness and funds for the kids at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I am fully aware of the benefits that can be received through charitable giving. As a compassionate giver, I completely agree with Lupton’s ideas and beliefs. Without transitioning from “make-work to development work, from pity to partnership, from government giveaways to accountable investments,” charity is most likely to become toxic. Along with Lupton, I also believe that as compassionate human beings, it is so easy to turn people into beggars in today’s society. We must embody that idea that good intentions lead to good results, such as Opportunity International, a Chicago-based micro-lending organization. Often we focus on what will be benefit our team instead of focusing on what will benefit both the receivers and givers’ needs. Though this usually occurs in “religious tourism,” it can happen anywhere. As many churches, such as mine at home, transition from “doing for” toward a “doing with” paradigm, we help eliminate the need for dependence and conflict. Each summer, I actively participate in an at home mission trip where we help alleviate the financial and physical burdens of one family’s home. With the help of a great team and the family of the disheveled home, we build a sense of comradery with the family. I hope to always helps those in need rather than hurt those in need.
    In Lupton’s passage about homelessness, he states that Andy Bales once referred a “story of the lame man in scripture who asked Peter and John for some money. They offered no money but rather something better – healing.” This passage really stuck with me. In today’s society, money or food can only take a person so far. Only will a need really be met when healing takes place. It is said later in the book “People almost always need love even more than money.”
    I am grateful to have read this book as I exercise my new knowledge of toxic charity to help better my personal giving. Not only am I excited about using my efforts towards the betterment of those in South Africa, I am also excited to apply these new ideas and beliefs towards my heart, the children of St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital!

  12. I feel encouraged to give charity in much different way. After reading Toxic Charity, i look at charity in a much different light now than i did before i read the book. There has never been a doubt in my mind that there are people around the world who are in NEED of help. My perspective before reading the book was to help people in need, meant to send them money or supplies. Toxic Charity stats that just giving something to a person that they can get on their own can be destructive. This creates a reliance on the giver of the charity and the receiver becomes unmotivated to do anything on their own. I never really thought about it that way before reading the book, but it’s so true. I know for myself, if everything i needed was given to me daily i would never need to work.

    The solution to this is to do what the author Lupton does. Go into the communities that are in need and find out their exact needs. The difference now is to not just give to the people everything they need, but aid the community into striving towards longterm goals that can be reached. This is true charity and what people around the world who are in need, really NEED.

    For the average person who is committed to giving doesn’t have time to invest in living in the communities like Lupton. I would suggest that the giver is finding an organization of a person like Lupton who is interested in finding the true needs of the community. Giving to an organization that is helping communities stand on their own two feet will go much further than just blindly throwing money at the poor.

  13. After reading Toxic Charity, I was excited to that someone has spoken the issues that charities and churches are facing. I have always told myself that when I become stable to help others and give to charities, I would. Now, I immediately think about all the charities and want to know what long-term effects they are leaving with the people in need of their help. Are they empowering them or harming them? I feel like I am a kind person and not too prideful to ask for help. So when I extend my hand to help others I want them to be able to trust and understand that I want to help them. Lupton says, “Cure without care is like a gift given to a cold heart”. He goes on to say, “Charity that does not enhance trusting relationships may not be charity at all”. This is so true! No one can move forward with someone when there is no trust. I want to see and feel the growth of people I have helped. Doing charity work or mission trips is like teaching. Teach the people how to provide for themselves, so there lives will not become dependent on that charity forever.

    No, I was not discouraged from this reading. I was more driven. I am driven to see charity at a different angle than how others view it. I want to know the short and long-term goals of the charities. I want to see and hear from the people how they have grown to better themselves. I will be more involved and knowledgeable of how my money is spent in helping the unprivileged.

    A strong advocate can say that some charities and churches’ mission work is beneficial to the people it is intend to help. But personally, an even stronger advocate has to argue every point made by Lupton because he had a lot of strong evidence due all his life’s service work.

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