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Charitable giving is an indispensable part of the Christian life in America. We are blessed in this country, by and large, with abundant wealth that many in the world cannot even fathom. Even those of us who struggle at times financially, or perhaps live in small homes and pinch pennies, have a moral obligation to tithe and contribute what we can to those less fortunate. That being said, it can be difficult to give to a charity and trust that our donations will be used in a manner we feel appropriate. While most reputable charities make their financial data freely available to the public, it can still be a time consuming process to read about and evaluate all of the options out there. While I in no way mean this to be a comprehensive list, here are three Christian charities that are trustworthy and should be considered when you find yourself in a position to give.
The first I want to mention is Samaritan’s Purse. Founded in 1970 by Bob Pierce, and currently presided over by Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian emergency relief organization, providing emergency aid to those in not only the United States, but in more than 100 countries worldwide, as an extension of Christian mission work. They also fund ministries that are unrelated to disaster relief. You may already be familiar with one of their more famous ministries, Operation Christmas Child, that places shoe boxes filled with Christmas gifts in the hands of needy children throughout the world. Receiving 4 out of 4 stars from Charity Navigator, Samaritan’s Purse is a great organization to fund.
If you are interested in contributing to a different type of ministry beyond disaster relief, Compassion International is another 4 star Christian charity. But, rather than emergency relief, it is primarily dedicated to long term child advocacy. One time donations are always welcome, but you can also choose to donate on a monthly basis and sponsor an individual child somewhere in the world. Sponsorship helps provide clean drinking water, food, medical care, and education to a child in need, and many people enjoy seeing “their” child grow up over the years through pictures and even letters. Compassion International also offers care for expecting mothers to help children begin life worldwide with the best chances possible for survival and well being.
The last charity on this list is one that we often take for granted because it has become so ubiquitous, the Salvation Army. Founded in 1865 with the mission of providing for both the spiritual and physical needs of the destitute, the Salvation Army now operates in 127 countries worldwide, with an outpost likely in your own town. From operating thrift stores and emergency shelters, to providing Christmas gifts and disaster relief, the Salvation Army has a comprehensive ministry with a global presence.
Whatever your choice, and whatever the amount of your gift, doing your research is vital before giving. Any of these three charities can be relied on for effective, ethical ministry, and you can rest easy knowing your money is truly making a difference.
Mimi Rothschild is a veteran homeschooling mother of 8, writer of a series of books called Cyberspace for Kids, and passionate advocate for children and education that is truly worthy of them. In 2001, Mimi and her late husband founded Learning By Grace, a leading provider of online Christian homeschooling Academies.