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What does scripture tell us about the proper way to receive charity?

Discussion in 'Ask a Calvinist' started by Mark Noo, May 26, 2019.

  1. Mark Noo

    Mark Noo New Member

    I worked the donation door at a local charity and was appalled at the way they received their donations.

    They dug through the plastic bags of clothes and looked for items to reject, because they were stained, or because they were a pillow and might have lice in them.
    They would not accept bed mattresses because they had a deal to sell new ones for somebody else.
    They won't take Futons because this would disrupt new mattress sales.
    They refused to take a little stuffed couch for a dog, because it had a stain and they weren't sure what it was.
    I saw the asst manager refuse a couch as being too dirty, the guy who brought it in looked stunned, I think it had been his couch.

    None of the refused items were trash/junk.

    The store just did not know how to make a profit on it, so they refused to take it, even though these folks went to the trouble to collect it up from their houses and deliver it to the store.

    It was embarrassing for me to "look a gift horse in the mouth" and then tell these people that what had been good enough for their family just was not good enough for us.

    Is there any scripture on how charity should be received.
    I was ashamed of the way we did it.
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  2. -Sasha-

    -Sasha- Handmaid of God

    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    I don't know if there is anything in Scripture about it, but personally I think it might be better to just accept whatever is brought, and if there are things you can't do anything with you could give them away for free to someone else, or get rid of them later on. It does seem a little bit rude to do it the way you mention, except maybe for scenarios where something is being donated which you really have no means of taking...like a boat or something that you don't have space for.
  3. WherevertheWindblows

    WherevertheWindblows Well-Known Member

    United States
    I don't think any one place would have room for everyones possessions which might be brought in and being stuck with those they might know might not be taken up.

    A yard sale might be the better option, The scriptures speak of selling ones possessions and giving to the poor. But even if you do, the word 'charity' in the scripture isn't used as we often use it (when it come to donating "to a" charity) since scripture speaks of giving all that one had to the poor but having not charity (in them) and being nothing.

    Is there a place in scripture where people loaded up their things on a donkey and took them to some place where others picked through? It might be better to sell them and give to the poor in more of a direct sense.
  4. Mark Noo

    Mark Noo New Member

    They like to send the furniture they don't want to Habitat for Humanity, or to the Catholic charities. (sometime Craigslist for Free gets mentioned)

    So even they know some of it is good enough, they just want the highest dollar items in their store. A charity that wants to maximize profit, I can deal with that, I just wish they did not have to humiliate people. We're to esteem others as higher than us and to treat people they way we would want to be treated.

    These guys even inspect children's toys, when they have time, to see if all the pieces are there. If they are all there, they take it, if not, they reject it.
    (when they have time, a lot of times the door is pretty busy, so the inspections get looser based on time requirements)

    Anyway, is there no direct scripture on how to accept charity?

    (the reason they don't want to accept it at all is because they have to pay to have trash removed, they also don't have a lot of room in their warehouse, but it is all about money at this charity)

    for instance, they reject Futons because they sale new mattresses, if you were a poor person do you think it would be more expensive to buy the new bed mattresses or to buy the donated Futon, probably the Futon they got for free would be cheaper, but they don't sell the Futon because it cuts into their profit margins.
  5. Mark Noo

    Mark Noo New Member

    Honestly I am reminded of Israel complaining that God only gave them bread in the Wilderness, and Manna was not good enough for them.

    I don't think it is a good idea to take things from people, people who may be motivated by the Holy Spirit to give, and reject them. But I may be stretching a little with this notion.
  6. Oscarr

    Oscarr Senior Veteran Supporter

    New Zealand
    When I lost a lot of weight (40kg) at one stage, I gave my "big" clothes to a local charity shop (Hospice Shop), and got talking to one of the workers there. She told me that clothes they cannot sell in the shop, they pack up and send them overseas to poorer societies where people would be glad to have them.

    I know that Salvation Army charity shops are more choosy about what they will accept, and their attitude is that if the item is unsaleable, then it would be just taking up space and they would have to pay to have it dumped anyway. I think that people offload their rubbish to these shops rather than have to pay for a rubbish skip, or a hire trailer to take their rubbish to the dump. In our city we have an "inorganic" collection, where once a year junk and unwanted items are put out at the gate and are collected for dumping or recycling. I have a family member who is quite well off, and when she replaces furniture, and her discarded furniture is still really good, she just puts it out on the street, and within 30 minutes it disappears. My 40" TV packed a sad, and so instead of dumping it, I sold it for spare parts on our version of Ebay (Trademe) for $5, and it sold within an hour. It cost me $1200, and might have cost say $200 to fix, and so if they were able to fix it, then they would have got a $1200 TV for $200!

    Garage (or yard) sales are great for getting rid of unwanted items, because one person's trash is another's treasure. But when I drive past one, and am tempted to stop and have a look, my wife says, "We don't need any more junk!"