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Author Topic: When to help, and when to ignore....  (Read 395 times) Average Rating: 0
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LizaSymonenko
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« on: October 30, 2012, 02:04:20 PM »


I've just received an email from someone in Haiti, which reads:

Dear Rev.Pastor

I'm Pastor Dieudonne Rosiclaire,I live at Port-au-Prince,Haiti.I greeting you in the name of Jesus Christ.
The object of my email is to visit my church in Haiti,.because after the eathquake of january 2010 the church is destroyed and we are some difficulties to take the church,and the others,please Rev. come and see,and after you'r going to see our problems.
                        we have an orphanage too,they orphans are verry in need please pastor come in help,we trust in your capacity and we are faith in your prayer.We will have a CROISADE 23 december to 29 2012,please come to preach for the peple haitian.


Sincerely your
Pastor:Dieudonne Rosiclaire
Tels;(509) (I removed the numbers)

Page Facebook:Dieudonne Rosiclaire-facebook.com


So, I'm not stupid enough to fall for the Nigerian schemes sent over the email every few weeks by some poor widows of rich men who were wrongly executed and need to put their inheritance in my bank account for safe keeping, promising me 20% of the total.

I'm always trying to find a "good" cause for our youth group to support and to teach them to be charitable and to work and help someone else's interests, other than their own.

So, I have a feeling this might be a scam (even though he has a Facebook Page)...but, I'm not sure....however, I am not compelled to help them out...and I feel kind of guilty over it.

We've donated to the IOCC specifically towards Haiti, so, it's not that we don't care about Haiti...it's just that some charities smack of scams...and I'd rather not get involved. 

So, my problem is that someone is asking for help (perhaps legitimately) and I am discounting them and not helping....and it feels wrong.  I just worry that if it is a scam, I would rather not give them any actual contact information....and I certainly wouldn't want to involve the greater church organization to assist unless I am certain they are legitimate.  You know?

Sighhhh.....I just HATE ignoring someone in need. 

"When I was hungry....you fed me...." keeps popping in to my mind.

What would you do?
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2012, 02:12:59 PM »

Last year, I think, we received a similar email, (different name) and we checked with the IOCC. It turned out that they couldn't verify so we passed on a donation.
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2012, 02:15:29 PM »

If you want to help a church in Haiti, the ROCOR mission there could still use lots of help, and there's no question that they're legitimate: http://www.fundforassistance.org/haiti.html
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2012, 03:38:34 PM »

If you want to help a church in Haiti, the ROCOR mission there could still use lots of help, and there's no question that they're legitimate: http://www.fundforassistance.org/haiti.html

This is the path that I take.  The Fund for Assistance is an organization that I have no qualms with supporting.

As to ignoring a letter sent to you, don't feel bad about it.  How did they get your name anyway?  Now, if it is someone you know, that is another matter.
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2012, 07:39:26 PM »


Well, they sent it to the Youth Organization email that was posted on my church's website.

That mail comes to me.

They could have found the church website simply by Googling churches.
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2012, 04:36:00 PM »

Sometimes you don't need to donate to an official charity organization or cause but all that you need to do is donate your money directly. For example, I save up a large portion of my money to give to the poor, and whenever I go somewhere, I always take a chunk of it with me and if I see a homeless person outside the store or lying on the street then I give some of the money to them.
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2012, 03:27:13 AM »

Liza,

I think the email link that you mentioned as available answers your question. I'm the webmaster for an on-line directory of Eastern Catholic Churches. The sole e-mail address on the directory site which is not cloaked is a single instance for me as webmaster.  That listing, intended for use by parishes to call my attention to schedule changes, phone no. changes, etc,  produces a few such each month. It also produces 20x that number of email solicitations of the same ilk as the one you quote - from every developing country in the world, as well as some that are already well developed.

Among the chaff, I suspect there are a few grains of wheat, but I have neither the time nor resources to sift them - so, I err on the thought that God and/or the Church and/or good people whom I know will bring to my attention those needs to which I ought to respond.

I strongly encourage you to do likewise - give through the IOCC, the charitable arms of any of the individual Orthodox jurisdictions, or other public charities - there are a million needs out there. Just, no matter who is the sponsor, investigate first to see what the percentage of overhead is versus direct aid.

Many years,

Neil
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2013, 07:29:21 PM »

A 19 year old kid in Uganda just contacted me on facebook.By the looks of his page hes totally involved in a thriving Orthodox Church.Hes telling me about the 3rd world conditions he and his family are suffering(with various,diseases,etc.) with and saying they are about to be kicked to the streets.He wants me to help him get here to America but in the mean-time is pushing I have someone send money (he knows Im half homeless and have none)..I agreed I would help him and have done what I can on facebook and will be discussing this with my priest ... But then I got this message from someone who saw my post on his behalf:

"I'm the director of the St Nicholas African Education Fund, a charitable works project of St Nicholas Orthodox Church in San Anselmo, CA, which supports high school students in Uganda, and as such, am the sponsor of _________'s education and medical needs.
I saw the recent interchange between you and him regarding the icon he received, and am a little concerned. Lately we've become suspicious as to whether he's soliciting funds from his internet friends in addition to what we give him. Up to a point, we don't mind, because our program is perennially struggling to meet obligations, but we also don't want to support double-dipping. He complains that his family never has enough to eat, and at the same time he's seen playing pool every day (which costs money), and it seems he's not actually in school most of the time. More than one person is urging me to cut him off. Would it be invasive if I ask you whether you've sent him any support and, if so, how much?
He's a smart kid, and like all poor people, he's not afraid to work the system. However, we want to avoid being 'worked', since if he's doing ok on his own, we have about 20 other kids to take care of."
« Last Edit: February 17, 2013, 07:30:53 PM by crux_84 » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2013, 11:02:27 PM »

Dear Liza and whoever else is interested even to pray for the people of Haiti,

Here are some recent videos related to the ROCOR work in Haiti, so you can see what is needed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sTPh61Ae-s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIftpIE_ez8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdkbvBoOHTg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvqgAd89HXw
 
There are other videos under

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWW3h409l3m_N1w2AUQWDGQ?feature=CAgQwRs%3D
 
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