A friend and mine at work, had the good opportunity to survey some 'charity' instituitions recently.
We went to three places along our survey of all the places that we knew around our area that offered solace to the variety of poor. The first site visit was Little Sisters of the Poor, a huge stone building, looking a lot like a school from built perhaps in the early 1900s. Set up though in the 70s, it has a central courtyard, surrounded by stone corridors and church like silence.
With nuns pacing around, in their gray dresses and a few of the aged, looking under dressed for the costume party. The place belongs to yesterday, and upon enquiry we found that a meal for every person residing in the quarters would mean 35 elderly, 50 nuns/novices and 5 in house staff would get fed.
With me scorning at the porpotions, we went to what we thought was another charitable instituition, called St something something. There we met a Sister Christopher (anyone know how they pick their names?), who found it very humorous that my friend and I friend didnt know what we'd gotten ourselves into.
It is a formation house she said. I pointed a finger at my friend, explaining he said it was an orphanage. Laughing her arse off, pardon the language, she explained its where novices who wanted to succumb to the life of God, got trained in the arts. And they're all women, and while they werent rich, they certainly werent the 'poor' that we wanted to do charity for.
And so we went to ECHO, a foundation juvenile justice centre, more of a juvenile delinquency centre, that thought vocational training to those who were on the other side of the law, and unfortunate enough to be young as well.
Housing 30 kids, ages 7 and upwards, the care taker explained every kid has a past. And this past isn't relevant. A past that shouldnt be rehashed by our visit, in any form or way. He adviced us, if anything, we'll need to shine focus on their future.
And i thought that that, is a good approach to life all the same.