About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“By a decree of the synod of the diocese of Exeter in 1284, no one should claim any seat in a church; but whoever first entered a church for the purpose of devotion, might choose at his pleasure a place for praying.”
— A work by Fr. Husenbeth (d. 1872)

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Foul-Proof Charity
published 20 March 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

My husband was brought up on the Lower East Side of NYC. He recounts how he learned as a kid about fake charities. His brother got “a job” passing around a can with a slot in it for helping impoverished Jewish immigrants. The gimmick was that the teen soliciting donations got half the money in the can! As a result he was totally sceptical about giving donations to anything until he went to the first talk of Mother Teresa of Calcutta in Los Angeles. After that he said, “Okay, Ronda, we can tithe Mother Teresa. I know she’s the real thing. But if she dies, that’s it.” She outlived my husband which gave me the chance to live simply and austerely to give more to the poor and to right to life causes.

After a while I started exhorting others with this image: “Suppose you were on your way into Wal-Mart. You saw a woman on the sidewalk who was starving with no milk in her breasts for her baby. Would you buy 3 new T-shirts or would you buy 2 and use the money for the 3rd to buy food for the starving woman?”

Okay, you don’t see this starving woman, but the Missionaries of Charity do, and can you believe that MIssionaries of Charity in India who have to vow to live without even toilet paper would be using your donation for “administrative overhead”?

Go to Missionaries of Charity on the web and you can donate to their Bronx NY headquarters – I tell them to give it to the hungriest people in the world where they minister.

Okay, I know “the right hand shouldn’t know what the left is doing” on charitable works, but considering that what Americans throw into the garbage could feed the whole world’s starving, I think it’s worth losing gold stars “boasting in the Lord” by telling people not to buy luxuries when others are starving.

Dr. Ronda has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.