PHILADELPHIA – There was a time when David was a highly-paid lawyer.
But after falling ill, losing his job, and suffering a string of financial setbacks, he cannot afford to feed himself or his family. Every other week, he gets in line and receives groceries free of charge from the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of New Jersey. In Philadelphia alone, faith-based organizations have stepped in with $500 million in aid to struggling families.
According to University of Pennsylvania Professor Ram Canaan, these groups are up to 40% more efficient than government agencies, because of the help of private donations and unpaid volunteers. The same story is being told across Pennsylvania and the country – even though the federal government denies church groups access to taxpayer money.
A study released by the Chronicle of Philanthropy on charitable giving in America also found that states with higher amounts of religious participation gave higher percentages of their discretionary income to charity. The most generous region of the U.S. was the South; the least generous, with the lowest amount of religious participation, was the Northeast.