Charity is the practice of volunteerism in extending help to people who are in need as an act of humanitarian concern. The word charity is derived from the Latin word “caritas” which mean high price, dearness and preciousness. Through this, caritas became the Christian Theology that gives meaning as loving unconditionally toward others. This gives wider idea in Christian triplet “charity, hope and faith. Thus, the concept of charity generally used in expressing love to other people. The giving methods may vary (health care, food, clothing and money), there are identified focal kinds of charity that includes the foreign, public and pure. We can say it is a foreign charity if the beneficiary is living in a different country where the services and funds are sent from them. Public Charity benefits a whole group of people instead of an individual. When we talk about pure charity it is completely gratuitous.
Charitable way of giving is a deed of giving goods, time and money to the less fortunate people. It can either be done directly, worthy cause or through charitable trust. Charitable giving is considered as a religious duty or an act as referred in alms or alms giving. The essence of this practice is giving the beneficiaries the means that they need for survival. The impoverished especially those who are orphaned, widowed, injured or ailing are usually regarded as the appropriate beneficiary of charity. The people who are not capable of supporting themselves and lacking outside means of supporting their own more often became beggars where they directly soliciting help from the strangers they encountered in the public places.
Some of the groups considered charity as the state of distributing towards other people within their specific group. Typically, charity means giving with those who are not related with themselves. Although “Charity begins at Home” as normally denotes by everybody or filial piety and the same terms supports their own family or friends. Certainly, treating people that are connected to the giver as if they do not know each other is in need of charity also, just as the figure of speech states “as cold as charity”- this means treating their relatives as stranger, without any affection.
Most particular form of charity are intended in providing the basic needs like shelter, clothing, water and health care, thus, other actions that are perform may consider as charity like ransoming captives, attending social activities, visiting the homebound or imprisoned and educating orphans. Donations that bring benefit to the unfortunate in an indirect way like donating to raise a fund for cancer research are also considered as charity.
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In line with the religious aspect, receiver of charity may offer prayer to the benefactor. In the Medieval Europe, it was their custom to organize feat for the poor at their funeral in exchange of their prayers intended for the dead. Institutions may also commemorate benefactors through naming of building, or the displaying of names of the benefactors. If the benefactor makes material as a return for more than the value of a token, the transaction will not be considered as charity.
There are number of charitable organizations in the past century that created charitable model wherein donators offer conglomerates with their recipients. Examples of charitable organizations are World Wildlife Fund and Make a Wish foundation. At this time, there are many charities that are already modernized where they allow the people to donate through online. Originally charity comprises the benefactor to directly give the goods of the receiver. These kinds of practice are still being patronized. With the expand rise of more social and technological processes, there are many charities that starting to move away with charitable model and trying to adopt a direct donator with the recipient approach. Examples of this are:
- Donors Choose – intended for United States projects based
- Global Giving – this is a direct funding of developing community projects in a developing country
- Pure Charity – this funds loans that are being administered through a microfinance organizations in a developing country
- Zidisha – funding a direct microfinance individual borrower
Institutions evolve in carrying out labour of giving assistance to the poor and with these kinds of institutions known as charities. This provide majority of charitable giving with regard of the monetary value. These include religious institutes, orphanages and food banks that are dedicated in giving care and affection to the poor, organizations of visit to imprisoned and homebound, hospitals and many more. These kinds of institutions enable people whose inclination or time do not allow themselves in directly care to the poor. They may provide money to support while they are doing their work. Institution may also provide a more effect sorting out of the actual people who are in need against those who falsely claim charity. The early Christians specifically recommend the care for the unfortunate in the charge for a local bishop.
There are examinations to those who offer more charity. There is a study conducted in United Sates that shows the percentage income as charitable giving rises as income decrease.
The critics in charitable giving resist the simply transfer of money and gifts in disadvantaging people that has a long term negative effect. Zidisha, an organization in online micro lending published the blog post that contended providing hand-outs may eventually lead to harm in a way of incentivizing failure of progress in the poverty line, and through creating a dependent mentality from among the recipients. According to them, microfinance lending is considered to be the better alternative as compare to donating. This is because it incentivizes investments that are successful of funds and may create can do mind-set with respect to the recipients.
Oscar Wilde, one of the philosophical critiques gave hid point of view in terms of charity. He considered it as ridiculously not adequate way of partial compensation and is usually accompanied by other impertinent attempt in the part of sentimentalist over the private lives. And at the same time it will not give a remedy, instead it may prolong the poverty syndrome without giving any cure.