Sunday, July 22, 2012

The skankiest 501(c)(3)* charity EVER [outside Loaf of Feces**, of course] (with footnotes***, including three that help explain this blogpost's title)

The internet ad pictured at right is one I clicked on today. I confess it was not because I was touched by the apparent compassionate mission of the charity, Feeding America, but because of the great bargain -- 7 1/2 cents per meal!  That's right; $15 divided by 200 meals is 7 1/2 cents!!

And look at how very healthy and happy those kids seem to be!  How very nutritious these 7 1/2-cent meals surely are.  Why, at three meals a day for 365 days in a year, you could raise a happy healthy kid for just  $82.12/year, not including incidental expenses like clothing, shelter and braces.  What a bargain.

So I click on the link, and what do I find?  The price per meal has gone up five full cents to 12 1/2 cents per meal. [$1.00 divided by 8 = 12 1/2 cents.] That's a 67% increase over the course of a moment.  "Give the gift of meals," the website says.  But how stable are these prices?  And what all is the food in these cheap (if not supercheap) meals?

The website doesn't tell us, it turns out, what the meal is such to give a person any confidence or understanding what will be done with money that is donated to Feeding America.  Indeed, I defy you to go to their website and figure out precisely what this charity does.  The only thing you come to be sure of is that they definitely DON'T make sandwiches, as I supposed.

I submit that what Feeding America does, centrally, is raise money.  What they are most about is luring people in to open their wallets by suggesting that great good can come from whatever a person can afford to give.  They hope that they can tug your heart, and that before you have time to think about it, you are typing in your credit card number or giving access to your PayPal account.

The clincher for me that "they be shysters" was a disclaimer at the bottom of one page (at right) and the sentence therein "Other images are models for illustrative representation purposes only."  Hell's bells.  The charity raises money to help feed Hollywood models.  As Major Clipton kept repeating at the end of the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai, "Madness ... madness ... madness ... madness."

I do understand that the charity can't succeed if they were honest and actually told us what they are doing, by using an ad tagline like "We think you are F***ing Stupid.  Send us money, NOW!"  But, shouldn't they somehow, some way be required to be honest and reputable and decent? Up front and truthful?  [By the way, Are you listening, Libby?]

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[Footnotes]
 * According to the Foundation Group website, 501(c)(3) organizations are non-profit, "highly regulated entities. Strict rules apply to both the activities and the governance of these organizations. No part of the activities or the net earnings can unfairly benefit any director, officer, or any private individual, and no officer or private individual can share in the distribution of any of the corporate assets in the event the organization shuts down. Further, lobbying, propaganda or other legislative activity must be kept relatively insubstantial. Intervention in political campaigns or the endorsement/anti-endorsement of candidates for public office is strictly prohibited."  [Both Feeding America and Loaves & Fishes tell us at their website that they are 501(c)(3) organizations.]  [Emphasis in the quote, above, is from me, not the Foundation Group.  Reason for the emphasis?  Loaves & Fishes does cross the line in this area, now and again, as it shouldn't.  One example: In 2008, staffer Vince Gallo's video of him talking with his 'Obama for President' poster sharing the camera frame was up at the L&F website.  The video eventually came down, but I understand the poster remained up in therapist Gallo's office, as it shouldn't have.  Is this a BFD?  Yeah, it is.  Charities get a full tax exemption.  In any case, charities LIKE CORPORATIONS, in my humble opinion, AREN'T PEOPLE and should keep the hell out of politics which is an arena FOR PEOPLE ONLY.  And, besides this, homeless Republicans should be as fully welcomed in Homeless World Sacramento as homeless Democrats.]

** Loaf of Feces is a street name for Loaves & Fishes, as is Ho’s & Snitches, Loaf & Gone Fishing, Loathes & Fishy, Foes & Leeches, and – my favorite – Bread & Eels, which sometimes morphs into Bread & Sardines. [Update:  I almost forgot.  Buns & Weiners is another substitute name for L&F that has been used.] Which street name someone uses can be dependent on what element of the charity’s dysfunction is being highlighted. [For the record, I do not know how much currency any of these names have, except for Ho’s & Snitches which I’ve heard often, used to highlight the supposed lowlifes that frequent Friendship Park which can include trampy women and homeless guys or plants**** who are in communication with parole officers and the police.] Also, L&F is very often mistakenly called Fishes & Loaves by the dyslexic and the confused. Homeless or borderline-homeless people who have sold their souls to Bread & Eels [think SafeGrounders, glove-kissers, bootlicks and nose-browners], in exchange for jobs and other benefits, might use as their street name for the organization “The Charity run by the Golden Angel.”


*** I mean, What the hell else did you think all those asterisks were for?


**** By “plants” I don’t mean shrubbery, but spies and Serpicos put in the Park to snag the unwitting. BTW, ironically-named Friendship Park has only one entrance/exit, next to the cul-de-sac on North B Street. This circumstance was arranged by L&F, done for the benefit of the police who can put their squad car at the entrance to corner and capture any ne’er-do-well they have in their sites. While I have no problem with the coppers nabbing bad guys who’ve done something criminal, the ‘set up’ in Sacramento in dealing with its homeless is classic “Warehousing the Rabble,” an out-of-date scheme/philosophy that keeps homeless people busy doing nothing and getting a constant run-around outside and in shelters that can gobble up most of their day. The idea is that if you keep ‘em occupied, they can’t rob convenience stores. Unhappily, this scheme also greatly interferes with homeless people’s efforts to get their life turned around, themselves. “Warehousing the Rabble” means that homeless people’s lives, effectively, get stolen from them. They/we end up with all the savor of life taken from us for no legal reason. We end up withering away in a Lenient Concentration Camp of the Mind, with long, day-wasting stops at the Welfare Office, Friendship Park, Central Library, Chavez Park and just riding, going nowhere, on the light rail. I know it sounds like a life of laze to the public. But your life is on permanent ‘hold.’ You can never gather all the pieces to put together an assault on the system to get job-interview ready or even feel worthy. It’s a slow-developing rust that ravages you, decimates you, throws you in the waste bin and spits on you and then kicks you and punches out four of your teeth before saying hateful things about your grandmother. Indeed. Homelessness isn’t as you’ve heard: Ann Romney’s life only without an elevator for the Cadillacs. It’s something less than that.

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