Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Profound shift in US culture of giving | csmonitor.com

Profound shift in US culture of giving | csmonitor.com: "Profound shift in US culture of giving
Deluge of private donations hits $163 million. Media coverage, Web fuel unprecedented aid.
By Peter Grier, Faye Bowers, and Amanda Paulson | Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor
WASHINGTON - The unprecedented level of individual donations in response to the South Asian tsunami may reflect fundamental changes in the culture of giving, both in the US and worldwide.
By now signs of benevolence are ubiquitous in the developed world, from the donations jar at the local coffee spot to the proliferation of children eager to send their allowance to people in need. Big charities can hardly answer their phones, with some reaping in minutes the donations they used to get in a month.
In part this is a simple response to the scale of the tragedy. The number of people and countries affected seems to demand a universal answer of help. But some donors say they want the United States to be seen as compassionate, not just well-armed. And underlying it all is video and the Internet - an electronic grid, which, for all its pop-culture excess, may prove to be a transformative tool for organizing compassion."

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