To Donate or Not To Donate?
The other day, I found a paper bag hanging on my mail box. Among other things, it asked for shampoo, conditioner, and soap. At first, I thought this was a bit of serendipity. I had just bagged up a ton of shampoo, conditioner, soap, tooth brushes, tooth paste, and lotions for donation. I have so many on hand. A lot are samples I've purchased and never gotten around to using, while others are from hotel stays. The dental products come from the dentist gift bags, of course, and there are the make up gift bags. All of these items are unused, although some might have some shelf wear.
I keep a basket of them in my guest room, much like a hotel keeps them in the bathroom. I've often received thank yous from friends who have forgotten their tooth brush or other items. Lately, from a fury of dental check ups and new product sampling, my cup or basket over floweth!
I thought myself very fortunate that a request had appeared just when I needed one. I can leave the given bag at the end of my driveway with no worries. I looked at the bold lettering on the note that accompanied the brown bag. My donations would be divided up and given to several area charities. They are all nearby, but not in my town. I felt a pang then. Should I donate to my town first? Sort of following the "take care of your own" philosophy. It's possible that people from my community travel these somewhat small distances to receive assistance, so perhaps, I would be helping my town also.
I thought about this a moment, wondering what to do. I assumed it was being collected by the local schools or by the Scouts, as they had been in the past. I was wrong. A city church was hosting this donation drive. The church in question had been involved in a scandal a few years ago. I remember it occurred not long after I moved here. This church was no longer interested in supporting a local mission because it didn't like the other churches involved--especially MY church. Additionally, it didn't approve of some of the people who served meals. I should note that this mission is served by many local churches and religious groups.
After this, there was a huge outcry from the metro area The church offered somewhat of an apology and stated that they were still withholding support. This time they claimed they didn't like a few non Christian servers.
So, I ask you, do I donate to this church's drive even though they clearly discriminate against other religions? Do I find a local charity and give my items to them or do I turn the other cheek and donate, knowing that helping people in need is the important thing?