I haven't posted in a while but my JW mom sent me this email today and I thought I'd just put it out there...If anyone is interested.
From Gary Halberthttp://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com/Newsletters/2005/09-02-05.htm
(It begins with an introduction to the letter by Gary Halbert (he is not a Witness), and the Sister's letter follows his comments)
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
I want to thank all of you for all your suggestions on disaster relief...... After reading your replies about the Red Cross and FEMA, I feel very comfortable in saying neither of those organizations should ever, ever receive a dime of your money.
Many of my newsletter readers recommended money be sent to something called "Catholic Charities". I think Catholic Charities might be an excellent and ethical organization. But I certainly don't want my name highlighted with any organization that has the word "Catholic". Why? It's very simple. The Catholic Church is riddled with pedophiles. It's not a case of a few bad apples spoiling the whole bunch. Pedophilia is ripe throughout all levels of the Catholic Church. And the amount of money the Catholic Church has had to pay to the victims of pedophilia is so tremendous, it is large enough to repair the damage created by many natural disasters.
Other readers suggested we donate to the Salvation Army. I think that's sort of a good idea. At least it's much better than donating to the Red Cross. But the Salvation Army has overhead... and... I believe they do not have the skills and organizational ability to do what's needed to be done.That Leaves Me An Option I Can't Believe I Would Have Ever Endorsed!.... I'm going to let you read something one of my readers sent to me. This will explain to you to WHO... and... more importantly WHY.... you should donate money to them in order to help victims of disaster. .......Like I said earlier, one of my readers made a suggestion of an organization who could handle this situation better than any other organization I know of. It's important for you to know I am NOT a member of their organization. Matter of fact, I've made a lot of jokes at their expense. But I will say this, every member I've ever met has been ethical, trustworthy, skillful, hard-working, honest, and generous.
What I'm going to do is sign off now. I'm going to let my assistant, Theresa put into this newsletter word for word what was sent to me. I urge you to keep an open mind. I Think They Are The Absolute Best OptionWe've Got To Handle The Crisis At Hand!.....here's the letter
Dear Gary, My reason for writing is to address the problem your newsletter brought up regarding disaster relief. You asked, "What should we do? How can we help these people?" And then you said, "The truth is, I don't know." I would like to make a recommendation. First I want to say that I appreciate you for what you're doing now and for all of the efforts you have made in the past to put together disaster relief funds. On a personal level, I subscribed to your newsletter because of your marketing genius. But the main reason I stay subscribed is because I know that you are a big-hearted, genuinely compassionate, very cool and funny guy. I want you to know upfront that this email is long for the sake of these desperate and needy people and because I want to give your noble & loving intentions the time and attention it deserves. As for my recommendation. Regardless of whether you agree with their religious beliefs or not, it is my belief (through the extensive research I have done regarding disaster relief) that the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses is going to be your best choice when the primary concern is maximizing the use of funds in the most beneficial way for victims. Here's why. They are the most non-profit of non-profit organizations I've ever seen. All of their workers are voluntary. *All* of them. From the top down, the way the entity is structured, even the executives of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Brooklyn, NY (headquarters of their worldwide organization) donate their time in exchange for very modest room and board. I've toured a few of their facilities in the Brooklyn, Wallkill and Patterson, NJ areas. I've seen it with my own eyes. Everyone who works at their printing facilities (where they print bibles and bible literature for their worldwide bible education work) works for room and board and they get a very small allowance (somewhere around $120/mo.) for personal items. This entire organization is supported by means of voluntary donations. And it's amazing......I mean, these people are not driving around in fancy cars and getting rich pocketing donations by any means. They spend their money on maintaining their printing facilities, printing bible literature, housing & feeding their voluntary workers (who all live in an apartment-like community maintained by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society), supporting voluntary missionaries around the world, language and reading programs (where they teach illiterate people to read), DISASTER RELIEF....I could go on. But the bottom line is that NONE of their money is used to line pockets of greedy execs. And there's more than one way to donate to this organization. You can just give a general donation to their "Worldwide" fund, or you can choose to dictate exactly where you want 100% of your money to be used, i.e., "Hurricane Katrina". Another big reason this is the best organization to donate money to is because they are so organized it's uncanny. I was reading an impressive article in a magazine about Jehovah's Witnesses and disaster relief for Hurricane Andrew. Check this out. When Hurricane Andrew hit, the Governing Body of Jehovahs Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York , reacted at once and appointed a relief committee to function out of the Fort Lauderdale Assembly Hall. They also assigned a considerable sum of money for the purchase of materials, food, and emergency items. As a consequence, Jehovah's Witnesses were among the first to react to the situation and began calling for volunteers. In fact, many came without even being called. Witness workers turned up from California, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington State, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and many other places. A Virginia Regional Building Committee that usually builds Kingdom Halls (the places where they meet for worship) sent a group of 18 Witnesses to repair roofs. It took them 18 hours to drive down. Relief workers took vacation time or leaves of absence from their jobs and drove across the country, hundreds and even thousands of miles, to reach their fellow Witnesses in distress. There was a group that came from the Charleston area in South Carolina. They had experience with Hurricane Hugo back in 1989. They knew what to expect and soon organized relief supplies, including electric generators and building materials. Within two weeks volunteer crews had dried out some 800 homes and had repaired many roofs. Even the media noted how well the Witnesses were organized. The Savannah Evening Press carried the headline :Jehovah's Witnesses Find They Are Welcome in South Florida, and The Miami Herald declared: Witnesses Care for Their Own and Others. It stated: No one in Homestead is slamming doors on the Jehovah's Witnesses this week even if they still have doors to slam. About 3,000 Witness volunteers from across the country have converged on the disaster area, first to help their own, then to help others.. .. . . Any military organization might envy the Witnesses precision, discipline and efficiency. In contrast, an Air Force officer was quoted as saying about the relief effort in another area: All the chiefs just want to be chiefs, but nobody wants to get down and actually do the dirty work. J ehovah's Witnesses have organized hundreds of Regional Building Committees all over the world to construct Kingdom Halls and large Assembly Halls. Thus, they have trained manpower ready to respond on a few hours notice. During Hurricane Andrew, the Anheuser Busch company donated a truckload of drinking water. On arriving, the driver asked officials where he should deliver the water. He was told that the only ones who had something organized were Jehovah's Witnesses. In fact, within a week after Andrew struck, some 70 tractor-trailer loads of supplies had arrived at the Fort Lauderdale Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. A volunteer there reported (I'm quoting from the magazine here): So we received a whole truckload of drinking water. We immediately included this among the other foodstuffs that we were sending to the distribution centers at the Kingdom Halls. It was shared with the brothers and with the neighbors in that area who were in need. In the beginning, city authorities were sending non-Witness volunteers to the Kingdom Halls, saying, They are the only ones who are properly organized. Eventually the military moved in and began to set up food and water relief centers and tent cities. The original Witness staging area was set up by the relief committee at the Fort Lauderdale Assembly Hall, which is some 40 miles north of the main disaster zone around Homestead. To relieve some of the pressure, a primary staging area was established at the Plant City Assembly Hall near Orlando, about 250 miles northwest of the disaster zone. Most relief materials were channeled there for sorting and packing. The committee ordered its needs from Plant City on a daily basis, and huge tractor-trailers were used to cover the five-hour drive down to Fort Lauderdale. In turn this staging station supplied food, materials, water, generators, and other needs to three Kingdom Halls that had been repaired in the center of the disaster area. There, capable Witnesses organized building and clean-up crews to visit the hundreds of homes that needed attention. Kitchens and feeding lines were also opened on the Kingdom Hall grounds, and anybody was welcome to come for aid. Even some of the soldiers enjoyed a meal and were later observed dropping donations into the contribution boxes. For many of the homeless, alternative accommodations were found in the homes of Witnesses untouched by Andrew. Others stayed in trailers lent or donated for that purpose. After Hurricane Andrew, the superbly-organized relief program of the Witnesses was so well-known that some business establishments and individuals who were not Witnesses and who wanted to make significant donations of relief supplies turned these over to the Witnesses. According to the article, these folks knew that their gift would not be simply left in a stockpile, nor would it be used for profit, but it would truly benefit the hurricane victims, both Witnesses and non-Witnesses. In the research I have done, the disaster relief efforts organized by Jehovah's Witnesses are too many to mention. Again, their honesty, use of donated funds and organizational abilities are unsurpassed. They have two official web sites..... http://www.jw-media.org http://www.watchtower.org Look into this organization for yourself and see how they measure up to others for disaster relief. Like you, I also care deeply for all the people who are suffering from this hurricane and I have already donated funds to be dispensed by Jehovah's Witnesses. Perhaps when you call them you might want to ask how Jehovah's Witnesses are already administering relief aid to Hurricane Katrina victims. This could ultimately help you in your decision-making process. And even if you don't end up using this organization to distribute your relief funds, I hope that you have at least found this information helpful and can see that I truly care and appreciate what you are doing. I want you to know that my prayers are with you and your efforts to raise money. I wish you the most successful money-raising campaign EVER and I absolutely KNOW you will pull it off. You are an *amazing* individual....I know because I read your Boron Letters. Need I say more? Respectfully, Jina Henry **********************************************************************************************
|God Bless Us All ,|
Gary C. Halbert
P.S. For those of you who want to make a donation without going to the website Jina listed, here's the details: You can send your check or money order made payable to "Watch Tower" and in the "memo" section of your payment, write "Hurricane Katrina". Send it to:
25 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn, New York 11201
As always... Peace.