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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in charity

If you've notice I've been a bit inactive, it's mostly because that most of the communities I involve myself in have caught a case of "Being-on-fire" and that has kept me quite busy.  I have forgotten about things here, and you will be seeing some posts from me soon.

b2ap3_thumbnail_logo.pngIn the meantime, while I get those posts ready to roll, have you all heard about the fundraiser that some of us from Heathens United Against Racism have put together?  It is to try and extend some goodwill, positivity, and compassion to those who were effected by Frazier Glen Cross in Kansas City, and help relieve those with financial burdens created by the frenzied madness of a murderer.  While HUAR started this, we've seen support (both financial and awareness raising) from everyone from McNallen to Krasskova, and from the Troth to the AFA.  Dozens of us have all put aside our political and philosophical differences in order to help bolster the spirits of those so effected by this madman.  We've also seen assistance outside of the Heathen community from several covens, bloggers of all sorts, and the Pan-Pagan community in general.  We are grateful for all of that help, and with just a little more we will be able to reach the goal we established in the hours following that crime.

We cannot buy back lives or peace of mind, but perhaps we can help stabilize these families enough that they can grieve and say goodbye without mundane distractions.  We can give these families a small measure of support, and show them that our thoughts are with them during a horrible and bleak time.

We are in the last 10 days of the fundraiser, and our five thousand dollar goal is in sight.  Those who have the money to give, please do.  Those who don't, please help us spread the word.  This is not money being raised on behalf of some faceless corperation; this was a fundraiser started by people in the community and initiated through a fund raising group that allows you to control how much of your donation goes to help their administrative costs.  Every dollar you donate through this will go directly to the people effected. 

Thank you for your consideration, and I'll be seeing you all again real soon.

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A Decent Proposal: Pagan Social Services

Friends, Romans, heathens, pagans, countrymen and women, lend me your ears. From time to time, many of us bemoan bad behavior in our communities, but today I would like to put forth a serious question: what would you like to do about it?

I know that we are scattered and often many of us are isolated or solitary in our practices. But faith should bring us solace in our grief and a network of support when we are in need. What can or should we do to facilitate this?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    Thank you all for your support; for now I've started a Pinterest board for the social services that I'm already aware of at http:/
  • Kimberly Reeves
    Kimberly Reeves says #
    http://www.pagansinneed.org is our food pantry. We are just local to SE Mich but I'd love to hook up with other groups for ideas.
  • Art and Spirit Guild
    Art and Spirit Guild says #
    OMG this is so awesome. Our local community leaders really want to provide services to Pagans in need but we have a difficult tim
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Thank you for taking on this task. I've tried to collect names of Pagan charities, and sometimes even asking the question has res
  • David Dashifen Kees
    David Dashifen Kees says #
    If your programmer friend needs any backup, let me know. This is something I tried to do a few years ago to try and get some co

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'Tis the season to move money around

The beginning of shopping season may be blurry, particularly for those whose traditions include portmanteau neologisms, but it's safe to say that it's in full swing as I write this on December 2.  The convergence of the gifting culture and the end of the tax year in many locales also makes this the time when many charities make their year-end pitches.  Likewise, this is when tax-free gifts to family members are often delivered, stocks bought and sold to maximize profit or minimize taxable gains, and people who participate in pre-tax health savings accounts and the like are making sure that they've spent everything they're required to.

So there's a lot of money on the move right now, a lot of energy flowing.  I'd go so far as to say that December is to money what October is to the spirits of the dead:  if you want to work with money, this is one of the best times to do so.  Spells and prayers for abundance and prosperity, as well as workings and offerings which are released through the movement of money, are worth incorporating into one's practice at this time of year, when the secular cycles are so strong that they reveal the unseen powers which shape them.

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as well as the links! Some of the suggestions were just great.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Haiyan:  how to help

The Pagan community is stepping up to help in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan's landfall in the Philippines.

  • To assist the small Pagan community directly, Pagan Federation International is making an appeal for donations.  Donors are being thanked directly on the PFI Philippines Facebook page.
  • In its own round-up of stories about the storm, The Wild Hunt reports that Peter Dybing is challenging Pagans to give in this time of extreme crisis, and even suggests a few organizations he thinks will do a good job at it.
  • Pandora's Kharis, the charity circle of Hellenic polytheists, is rising to that challenge, although I say so more poetically than literally.  Yes, it is likely the group's next round of donations will focus on Haiyan relief, but no, I don't think that decision was motivated specifically by Dybing's call.
  • Circle Sanctuary is echoing that call (is that less poetic?), asking for donations to the Philippines Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders, which also happen to be Dybing's recommendations.  They are also calling for the sending of healing energy to the survivors.

The devastation from this storm is, I'm sure, nearly incomprehensible to those of us who only see pictures and video from the scene.  The logistics of getting around and communicating on this nation of countless islands is always complex, and trying to reach all of these places with roads and communications destroyed is incredibly difficult.  No government designed, no preparedness plan written, no technology built by humans hands is quite enough to make the aftermath of an event like this any easier.  

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, Thanks for sharing this!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Charity as religious community

Some time before I started this blog, I began asking myself the question:  where are the Pagan charities?  Doing good deeds is good PR, and generally Pagans are good people, so didn't it follow that there was a place for Pagan charities to help that along?

The real problem is that I was asking the wrong question.  What I should have asked was, "To what causes do Pagans donate?"  Charitable donations can be a good thing, but as Elani Temperance wisely pointed out, there is value to Pagans giving publicly, too.  Our disparate community doesn't have any meaningful charities of its own, so how can we maximize the value of public giving?

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  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    My coven Chalice Hart - ATC started what we call the Healing Hearts Fund seven years ago, the monies of which go towards helping t
  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    \ Shameless plug. lol
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, Thanks for sharing this with us!
  • Melia Brokaw
    Melia Brokaw says #
    Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the publishing branch of Neos Alexandria, contributes profits from their books (only a relatively small a
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I'm glad to learn of it! Obviously asking questions in better forums (fora?) is also a good thing. I'm glad to know there are gr

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tithing: not just for Christians

Risking charges of cultural appropriation, I'm going to come right out and say that I thinking tithing is a wonderful idea that Pagans should borrow and embrace . . . with some modifications to fit our diverse paths and beliefs, of course.

Tithing is the Biblical tradition of skimming ten percent off the top of one's income and giving it to one's church.  This was an effective way to provide for priests and ensure that charity stays local, but there are a number of reasons why its literal application won't work for most modern Pagans.  A few that come to mind are:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Ward, I wish we could do this. We do give to various charities, though. Thanks again for another great post.
  • Debbie Vozniak
    Debbie Vozniak says #
    This is a great idea. I personally tend to give my donations to animal or nature rescue causes and to victims of disasters worldwi
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Great points, Emily! Produce was the originally tithe expected of Hebrews, with money moving in as a convenient way to measure th
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    Wow. Another timely blog that coincides with things on my mind. What is about this site? The Fistula Foundation is a charity I l

NPR reports on a study that confirms what many of us already felt, that poor people are more charitable, in how they think about community and as a percentage of what they have.  So what's going on here?  I have some ideas, not all of which could possibly be correct at the same time, and I'm even more curious about the ideas I haven't thought of myself.

Not surprisingly, "religion" is cited as a motivator for charitable behavior, but from what I can tell, that generic term as applied in the studies cited actually means "Christian religion" instead.  It's understandable that researchers focus their efforts on the largest groups, but the rest of us must read between the lines.

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  • T
    T says #
    I recall (though sadly can't cite) this being a repeatedly reaffirmed trend. Heck, even Jesus has parable with an example of the p
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I like the connection you draw between community and charity, T, particularly this remark: "Someone who has not directly experien
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Not Paganism specifically, but a general New Age concept that if you want to attract prosperity into your life you must be willing
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Five points for making me look up a word, Ted! Sometimes I wonder if giving tax deductions for charitable contributions is actua
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    The tight fist of fear definitely keeps us from giving a lot more money.

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