You know what I find absolutely beautiful?
When a person takes over something that is usually left to be done by the government, does it a thousand times more efficiently, and does it with a true sense of compassion.
One of the major arguments that people have against less taxation and smaller government is that there will be no one to help the poor. If you don’t want to see a huge percentage of your money extorted from your paycheck and funneled into expensive government programs, then you’re accused of “hating poor people” or being a racist.
But think about it: it’s human nature to resent being forced to do something like “give” your hard-earned money to the government so that they can dole it out to others. However, when force is not involved, then true compassion and generosity can shine through, and I believe it would do so far more often.
If charity is dying, it’s because the federal government is killing it. It’s because nonprofit organizations take our donations and pay their CEOs and directors enormous salaries. (The director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America earns $1.8 million, the president of United Way Worldwide earns $1.2 million, and the CEO of Goodwill earns $850,000. source) Don’t even get me started on fake charities like the Clinton Foundation, which are just a way for rich folks get donations and shift around money that they don’t want to pay taxes on.
We can do so much better than that.
“Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals. ” ~ Margaret Mead
True charity is voluntary.
A common question asked of those of us who object to taxation and big government is, “Who will feed the poor?”
Here’s one answer: People like Lauren Puryear.
The 29-year old Woodbridge, Virginia resident and founder of For the Love of Others, a community group that helps individuals in need, has set an impressive goal.
She’d like to feed 30,000 people by her 30th birthday.
Puryear, who is a mental health clinician, began helping to feed the hungry several years ago. She founded For the Love of Others in 2012 after her grandmother passed away.
“She just always had a really big heart, and taught us growing up to take care of other people, and love other people,” said Puryear of her grandmother.
And, she has found a clever way to make her goal a reality: Couponing.
Puryear began feeding those in need by conventional methods, but using coupons is helping her assist not just hundreds, but thousands of people, as she told What’s Up Woodbridge:
“At first I just started off by doing Thanksgiving baskets for needy families, and Christmas wish lists for children. Then as years progressed, God laid other missions on my heart – one, feeding the homeless…I would just buy things in bulk from Costco and BJ’s. But then I was introduced to couponing, and once I learned how to coupon, and once I saw what I was able to buy for little to no money, I said ‘Oh my goodness, this is like going to be my ticket to really, really help people.’”
Depending on the items, Puryear said she can feed as many as 150 people on just $20:
“There are coupons in the Sunday paper, or online that you can print … so I collect as many as I can, match them to the store and that is how I am able to get the items for free.”
Puryear has delivered 5,000 meals so far, and is confident she will reach her goal next year.
She told NJ.com that “The joy of helping other people does not compare to any other accomplishment in my life,” and she is teaching her 5-year-old son to help others too.
“It is very important to teach him to help other people. The little things we take for granted, the food we throw away every day…and if we just spread a little more love around, the world would be such a better place.”
I could not agree more.
When the government gets involved, though, millions of dollars go to waste. Tax dollars go to pay high overhead expenses, nice offices, salaries, and other administrative costs. At the same time, they often squash the efforts of ordinary people who want to help, by citing public safety, food regulations, and anything else they can come up with to hide from us the fact that they’re obsolete. In 70 American cities, it is actually illegal to feed the homeless – kindness can get you arrested.
Lauren Puryear is a perfect example of what we can do voluntarily. She isn’t waiting around for the government to fix the problem. She is efficiently helping others because she is kind, generous, and intelligent.
If you’d like to make a donation to help Lauren Puryear feed the hungry, you can go here.