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Source: (consider it) Thread: Praying for Haiti
Martin60
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# 368

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I was subject to a Facebook invitation Liked by the vicar asking me to pray for Haiti. I 'Hid all from ...' and ignored it.

Glad I did.

The death toll doubled.

I've actually given money in response to this 'ministry', in a moment of weakness. Never again. Not until it's based in Jeremie.

Where, in our little bourgeois praying huddle, is a theology of ... I want to really swear ... suffering?

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Suffering is bad. Period.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Golden Key
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(And who are you calling "bourgeois", Comrade?) [Biased]

[ 08. October 2016, 00:46: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Nick Tamen

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I went to Haiti on a mission trip when I was 16. Spent my time painting walls in a school and hospital. It was an experience that has stayed with me. On my bedroom dresser, I keep a wood carving of the Good Shepherd that I brought back from there. The way Jesus is looking at lamb he is holding, and the way the lamb looks at him, still moves me.

Our congregation has many close ties with Haiti, and in particular with a certain home for children. Many from our congregation have visited there, some many times, and they have visited us many times. I have art hanging my office that residents there have made. The stations of the cross that hung in our church during Lent this past year were made by residents there from recycled material. One member of our congregation took a plane there after the earthquake to bring supplies and bring one person back for medical help. (I could add that a fair number of churches in my area have Haitian connections.)

So when we pray for Haiti, we're praying for the country and its people, but we're also praying for friends we know and care about. We're praying for faces we know. We don't just pray. We try to meet real needs caused by suffering. But we do pray, too.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Nick Tamen

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Sorry for the double-post, but I realized I should have added two things:

— The word we've gotten is that everyone at the home for children (which includes a home for disabled children) is okay; and

— I almost always ignore "Please Pray for!" posts on facebook. "Liking" something isn't my idea of praying, but it does seem a little like wanting to be seen by others. That said, most folks I know who do post such things do so, I am sure, with the best of intentions.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Eutychus
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Reposted from the Gadgets for God thread: the Thoughts and Prayers App seems to be strangely appropriate here.

[ 08. October 2016, 10:10: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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GK - spoken as only a true member of the self-loathing bourgeoisie can!

NT - I'm going to be a bastard now as I've never understood the point of sending kids at vast expense to areas where the money would achieve vastly more if given to those in need through a local full time professional aid worker. They don't need our experience of them.

E - shared on FB.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
NT - I'm going to be a bastard now as I've never understood the point of sending kids at vast expense to areas where the money would achieve vastly more if given to those in need through a local full time professional aid worker. They don't need our experience of them.

Not a bastard. Just wrong, I think. [Biased]

I agree that they don't need the experience of random people showing up for a week to observe them or feel better about themselves. But I think we (relatively well-off Americans) need the experience of seeing what life is like for many if not most of the world's people. And I think we all need the chance to relate to one another as people, and to be changed.

As for the money, we were each responsible for raising the money to get ourselves there, which all things considered was relatively inexpensive. (That's how most mission trips I know of have worked.) We were there to work with full-time, resident professional aid workers whom our congregation supported monetarily. (Again, not uncommon in my experience.). By going, we provided free labor for the time we were there. We knew very well that we weren't there for fun or for vacation.

Mission trips as a form of travel and sightseeing is a waste of time and money, I agree, and can border (or cross the line) on being exploitive. But I have seen too many examples of mission trips that changed lives, that opened people to serving others and that built relationships that not only lasted but that have been mutually beneficial and rewarding. Done well, a mission trip can not only be a powerful experience, it can teach that giving money to pay a professional, while a good and necessary thing in itself, should always just be a starting place.

[ 08. October 2016, 21:06: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
... I've never understood the point of sending kids at vast expense to areas where the money would achieve vastly more if given to those in need through a local full time professional aid worker. They don't need our experience of them.

We need our experience of them. And that experience can transform lives.

[ 08. October 2016, 21:18: Message edited by: Patdys ]

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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Martin60
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Well said guys, both. I'll just have to hold it all in tension.

I went to a talk by a missionary doctor to Chad. She was a devout evangelical. Very level. No stupid claims at all. Immense compassion for her local Christian co-workers who were scared sick. Getting anything done was a farce. Even the jihadists who came to town were a farce. The gang who couldn't shoot straight and didn't know where they were. They all had animism in common which made their culture utterly ineffective in our terms. It had worked for the past 20,000 at least for them mind.

I sat opposite her at dinner and didn't say a word, just made eye contact and, non-verbally signalled the right things to which she literally said, "Hopeless isn't it?". My jaw dropped, I nodded. She went back shortly after.

There's certainly infinitely more hope for Haiti. It'll take to the end of the C22nd.

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Love wins

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
NT - I'm going to be a bastard now as I've never understood the point of sending kids at vast expense to areas where the money would achieve vastly more if given to those in need through a local full time professional aid worker. They don't need our experience of them.

Not a bastard. Just wrong, I think. [Biased]

I agree that they don't need the experience of random people showing up for a week to observe them or feel better about themselves. But I think we (relatively well-off Americans) need the experience of seeing what life is like for many if not most of the world's people. And I think we all need the chance to relate to one another as people, and to be changed.

As for the money, we were each responsible for raising the money to get ourselves there, which all things considered was relatively inexpensive. (That's how most mission trips I know of have worked.) We were there to work with full-time, resident professional aid workers whom our congregation supported monetarily. (Again, not uncommon in my experience.). By going, we provided free labor for the time we were there. We knew very well that we weren't there for fun or for vacation.

Mission trips as a form of travel and sightseeing is a waste of time and money, I agree, and can border (or cross the line) on being exploitive. But I have seen too many examples of mission trips that changed lives, that opened people to serving others and that built relationships that not only lasted but that have been mutually beneficial and rewarding. Done well, a mission trip can not only be a powerful experience, it can teach that giving money to pay a professional, while a good and necessary thing in itself, should always just be a starting place.

Yes, there's quite a lot that's been written against the short-term missions model, and some of it quite valid. It is certainly expensive-- money that would be much more useful in the form of a check than in any labor the kids (or adults) provide. And often the labor is actually taking jobs away from a local person. Ditto our cast-off clothes and other items we donate.

But... I think Nick is right. There is real value in the short term mission model, properly used. It's just that the value is more to the "missionary" (airquotes deliberate) than the recipients. That's OK. We often spend money on our own spiritual/personal growth-- my Amazon Prime bill would probably cover the airfare to Haiti. So that's nothing to be ashamed of. But it should inform our fund-raising, and the humility with which you serve. Some of the things we've tried to keep in mind in our ministry:

1. Partner with a local indigenous church. Let them set the agenda. Ask them what they need/what's useful and how you can support them. Recognize you're not doing some new things for them they can't do for themselves, you're coming alongside something they're already doing that will continue long after you've left.

2. Should be obvious, but try to really spend time with the indigenous people, which probably won't happen unless you split up your group so you don't just cling to your friends for comfort.

3. Of course you'll want to see the places of great need and try to help, but don't just do that. Be sure to see & notice what is good-- what is wonderful & beautiful-- in this place. The indigenous people will be eager to show you. This is the one place where I'd disagree with Nick Rightfully done, some sightseeing is a good balance to the poverty or need you'll see, and helps you appreciate the broader culture and resources of the community. Just don't expect your church's (or friend's) tithe to pay for it.

4. Come back. Don't hopscotch all over the world, find one part of the world and come back. If possible and appropriate, connect via email or facebook in between visits.

5. Be an advocate. One of the things that short term missions can do is give you a voice to advocate for the people in that nation based on your experience. A friend who serves in Haiti regularly, for example, has suggested that we not contribute to Red Cross-- lots of disappointment re how the $$ they raised after the earthquake was spent. Instead, she was able to offer a list of organizations she's worked with that she feels will use donations more effectively.

[ 08. October 2016, 22:39: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Golden Key
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Martin--

How did their animism hold back their culture?

Thx.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Kelly Alves

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I think he was sarcastically quoting the missionary who was ranting at him, judging by the next following comment.

[ 09. October 2016, 01:22: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]

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"Take your broken heart, make it into art"-- Carrie Fisher (1956-2016)

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Martin60
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It held it back, holds it back, not just in our terms, but in absolute terms of worldview predominated by the irrational. In which nothing can be done. The concept that anything 'needs' to be done, can be done is missing. Nothing can be better. It is what it is. It seems to engender social evolutionary stasis, a holding pattern, like pre-European Australia, unchanged for what, 50,000 years? Something about a minimal environment.

I'm sure animism in a more stimulating, productive environment reflects that.

No flesh tearing, no rant.

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Love wins

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
3. Of course you'll want to see the places of great need and try to help, but don't just do that. Be sure to see & notice what is good-- what is wonderful & beautiful-- in this place. The indigenous people will be eager to show you. This is the one place where I'd disagree with Nick Rightfully done, some sightseeing is a good balance to the poverty or need you'll see, and helps you appreciate the broader culture and resources of the community. Just don't expect your church's (or friend's) tithe to pay for it.

Actually, we agree completely here. I was less than precise earlier, and you understandably read my words instead of my mind.

What was was thinking about was "mission trips" I have known of (not too many, thankfully) where the location and sightseeing seemed primary, and oh by the way, while we're there, we'll do some service projects.

Otherwise, I agree with all you said, with one slight quibble: I think there should definitely be partnering, but I'm not sure I'd limit it to the indigenous church, per se. As I noted, we've long partnered with an orphanage/home for children. Not a "church"—though without a doubt a faith community. So I'd expand "indigenous church" to include other forms of indigenous ministry.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Lamb Chopped
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Having been on the receiving end of domestic mission trips, I'm going to suggest that these are fine and valid, provided you go into it with the understanding that the local ethnic church or ministry is doing YOU a favor. They are the ones most likely dropping everything to accommodate your need to visit and interact. Your skills and kindness are wonderful, but very likely not an equal return for the logistical cost of dealing with you--unless you happen to be a doctor or other highly trained person with skills that cannot be found locally.

What we usually got were a busload of enthusiastic but unskilled teenagers who came to paint, trim bushes, run a children's program, etc. We loved having them. But we did it primarily for their sake and the sake of the church that sent them, which needed cross-cultural experience. Left to our own devices, we could have done a load of other more critical work during those days.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:

Otherwise, I agree with all you said, with one slight quibble: I think there should definitely be partnering, but I'm not sure I'd limit it to the indigenous church, per se. As I noted, we've long partnered with an orphanage/home for children. Not a "church"—though without a doubt a faith community. So I'd expand "indigenous church" to include other forms of indigenous ministry.

Yes, so true-- I happily accept your correction, hopefully with the same grace you accepted mine! Really, my focus was more on the "indigenous" part-- asking the local people what they need rather than imposing your agenda. Our work in Central Africa similarly often centers around schools & orphanages for children.


quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Having been on the receiving end of domestic mission trips, I'm going to suggest that these are fine and valid, provided you go into it with the understanding that the local ethnic church or ministry is doing YOU a favor. They are the ones most likely dropping everything to accommodate your need to visit and interact. Your skills and kindness are wonderful, but very likely not an equal return for the logistical cost of dealing with you--unless you happen to be a doctor or other highly trained person with skills that cannot be found locally.

What we usually got were a busload of enthusiastic but unskilled teenagers who came to paint, trim bushes, run a children's program, etc. We loved having them. But we did it primarily for their sake and the sake of the church that sent them, which needed cross-cultural experience. Left to our own devices, we could have done a load of other more critical work during those days.

This.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Golden Key
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Martin--

Re animism and culture:

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It held it back, holds it back, not just in our terms, but in absolute terms of worldview predominated by the irrational.

1. Held back from what? Things that we consider advanced technology?

2. Is there only one good/right path for a society to take? Must every society have the same goals?

2a. Have you read "Ishmael", by Daniel Quinn? It explores these ideas. I don't necessarily agree with it, but there's lots of food for thought.

3. Have we done so well with reason? (You seem to imply that we have.) And is reason all that makes life worthwhile?


quote:
In which nothing can be done. The concept that anything 'needs' to be done, can be done is missing.
4. ISTM that had some idea of things needing to be done, because they (speaking generally, of a wide variety of groups) had/have food; some sort of clothing); a place to sleep (whether in a fixed home, portable home (yurts, etc.), or sleeping outdoors); oral history; music and art; mythology; religion...

If you mean that they didn't proceed with things, because they thought everything was just under the control of natural forces/beings, religions have done similar things, and still do. Happens in other arenas, too, like the stock market and "the Invisible Hand of the free market". A previous chairman of the Federal Reserve admitted, in the wake of the 2008 recession, that he'd believed in the Invisible Hand, and thought everything would work out.

5) Japan has a deep animistic streak. Doesn't seem to have held them back from "progress"; and, from what I saw while searching for animism info, animism informs some of their robotic/AI work.

6) Quantum animism (Wikipedia, in physicist Nick Herbert article).

quote:
Quote from Werner Krieglstein, in the above article:
Herbert's quantum animism differs from traditional animism in that it avoids assuming a dualistic model of mind and matter. Traditional dualism assumes that some kind of spirit inhabits a body and makes it move, a ghost in the machine. Herbert's quantum animism presents the idea that every natural system has an inner life, a conscious center, from which it directs and observes its action.

---
quote:
Nothing can be better. It is what it is. It seems to engender social evolutionary stasis, a holding pattern, like pre-European Australia, unchanged for what, 50,000 years? Something about a minimal environment.
7) From another angle: the first people of Australia found something that worked for them, and survived for 50,000 years before Europeans showed up, and showed the first people "the error of their ways" while also tormenting them.

quote:
I'm sure animism in a more stimulating, productive environment reflects that.

No flesh tearing, no rant.

8) Please see my earlier comment on Japan, in #5.

[ 10. October 2016, 05:16: Message edited by: Golden Key ]

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Martin60
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GK. Points all taken except QA [Smile] Unless you want to call that God the (Great) Spirit.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Hurricane Matthew: How to Support Relief Efforts in Haiti. (Yahoo)

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

Posts: 18152 | From: Chilling out in an undisclosed, sincere pumpkin patch. | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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Thanks GK, in response to my pathetic "Here I suppose. As in where to post my sudden tears of helplessness for Haiti. I don't know what to do. I just cry. Saying it. Where's the best donation site? Who's on the ground there?" on the Heaven Depression thread, I've been pointed at Tearfund.

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Love wins

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Golden Key
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Martin--

You might try Mercy Corps. Their address is in the article. From what I know, they do good work and aren't religious. I don't know of any scandals. I've donated to them, a time or two.

IMHO, best to go with something that's been established for a while. Maybe also check something like the Charity Navigator site, to check them out.

FYI: The Red Cross has a ...complicated... reputation about use of funds.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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A Feminine Force
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As a Rotarian, I would like to put in a plug for Rotary.

The administration of Rotary International, and all its functions, is paid for by Rotarians themselves out of their annual dues.

What this means is that when a Rotary club raises funds for a particular cause, all the proceeds of that event go directly to the cause.

If they don't, a Club can lose its charter.

In addition, any funds given to a foreign project or cause are administered at the receiving end by a Rotary Club in the destination country. Full accounting of all funds raised and disbursed are necessary at both ends. Again, if this doesn't happen, then a Club can lose its charter.

On top of this, money raised by a Club for a particular International project can be matched at the Regional level, and matched again by Rotary International. It's an effective way of tripling the effectiveness of your giving, without even trying.

If your local Rotary Club is doing work in Haiti, perhaps this might be a worthy consideration for your charitable giving.

AFF

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C2C - The Cure for What Ails Ya?

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Martin60
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Good to know AFF. They partner with ShelterBox. I still recoil at the fact that the latter has one employee on nearly a hundred grand. But I realise that they probably pull in millions that a volunteer couldn't.

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Love wins

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Penny S
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Oxfam is accepting donations for Hurricane Matthew, Haiti not singled out.

I noticed the Rotarian symbol on the Shelterbox ad.

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