What Are the United Way, Goodwill, and Salvation Army For?

Question by rudegrrl: What are the United Way, Goodwill, and Salvation Army for?
Every time I’ve known someone in a crisis situation, they’ve contacted these organizations, but they don’t really do anything. All they do is give people phone numbers to other places.

Two of my friends were flooded out of house and home about 5 years ago. One is still living wherever she can find a friend who is willing to let her sleep on their couch even though she works. United Way told her to go to church and ask for money. Are you kidding me?

Now I’m in dire straits and can’t afford rent, electric, etc. Can’t find a job anywhere and because I got severely hurt in an accident and no one can help. United Way also told me to ask my church for money. Again… what????

What happened to all the money I donated to United Way over the years? What does Goodwill do with the money they get from selling stuff in their stores?

Best answer:

Answer by bettiegrl
Whenever I shop at Goodwill, they have signs up saying that your purchase helps the community, but in what way I have no idea.

When my employer asked me to contribute to United Way I asked what specifically was going to happen with my money. After getting a dirty look about questioning a donation to charity, I was given a few vague answers and a pamphlet that told me all about what volunteers DO for United Way, but not what the United Way DOES.

Here’s a statement from United Way’s website:

“United Way is a national network of nearly 1,300 local organizations that work to advance the common good by focusing on education, income and health. These are the building blocks for a good life: a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family through retirement, and good health

United Way of America is the national organization dedicated to leading the United Way movement. Local United Ways create long-lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of the most significant local issues. Common focus areas include helping children and youth achieve their potential, promoting financial stability and independence, and improving people’s health. Our goal is to create long-lasting changes by addressing the underlying causes of problems.

It takes everyone in the community working together to create a brighter future. So we bring together people from all across the community–government, business, faith groups, nonprofits, the labor movement, ordinary citizens–to tackle the issues. Because we all win when a child succeeds in school, when a family becomes financially stable, when people have good health.”

I have no idea what all that nonsense means either. It doesn’t say “we buy books for kids” or “we donate clothes to shelters.” It states that they support this and focus on that, but never say exactly what they do and what they’re for.

No wonder there are so many people living on the streets. Too bad people aren’t giving money to charities that have very specific benefits like Habitat for Humanity or a soup kitchen. Instead, people are pouring millions of dollars into organizations with vague mission statements.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!



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