Whether you call it Tzedakah, Sadaqah or Charity, giving freely to others is a wonderful thing. However, there are always some who exploit it for their own aims. Some multi-national charity CEOs pay themselves over $1m p.a., the average being $126,000. Also there is one global charity which is actually deemed racist - the very opposite of what charity means - and that is The Red Cross. And, after 9/11, it was revealed that a large proportion of donations to them went not to survivors or family members of those killed but to other Red Cross operations! So, be very careful who you give your money to.
It was as a breath of fresh air to see that a French project called 'Magasins pour Rien' had opened in Mulhouse, quickly followed by another in the Charente. Not a cent passes anyone's hand. People can come in and take away 3 items for nothing. Goods are given to the stores for free, the assistants are all volunteers and the premises are given rent-free by the local Maire. Personally I'd like to see supermarkets donating all their just-past-date foods, instead of the masses taken to landfills. Mulhouse organiser Roger Winterhalter says the only profit is in bringing people and communities together and reducing waste. Well done la France!