A small point in the overall scheme of things, but something that struck home with me a few days ago.
Jack is now attending pre-school. His school is part of a local Methodist church. They are located in the church facilities and are part of the church’s programs.
There was a parent-teacher-church meeting to begin the year that Christie and I attended. After talking with Jack’s teachers we went into the church proper with all the other parents (there are a dozen different classrooms for children of different pre-school ages) and sat in the pews.
The minister Opened the gathering with a short prayer, spoke briefly and then turned it over to the headmistress of the school. Various briefings and introductions took place and then she introduced two women to talk about the school’s “mission.” I didn’t understand what this meant at first.
These two women are parents of children at the school and they organize charitable activities to help a local homeless shelter. They provided 30,000 meals to homeless people last year and are expanding this and also building shower and toilet facilities for them as there are at least 2,000 children that are part of the problem. This is in the county next to us, Pasco County (which is of course the adjacent county to the FSO too).
What struck me was how genuine these women were. There were not used to speaking on stage. They had no slick presentation. There was no video. No promise of status. No talking about themselves in self-congratulatory terms. No regges hanging around to get money. Not even any slides of the women or the volunteers who help them showing them “at work” with the homeless. Just them explaining that they are continuing this program again this year in coordination with another local church and charitable organization and that they welcomed the support of other parents in any way they could.
And I know that when I go to visit this program, I am going to find these people actually DOING something, and there won’t be a video crew in sight.
The contrast with the IAS and scientology could not be more stark.
It made me sick to my stomach to think about the IAS “humanitarian” efforts – where if there is no PR opportunity for scientology there is no effort. No photo no do should be the IAS motto.
But filled with admiration for these women who ask for no recognition and don’t even ask for money other than mentioning anyone who can assist will be appreciated.
THIS is why religious organizations are supposed to have tax exempt status.