I asked you to donate to poor people in Guatemala, and here’s what happened

I already posted this update on my Facebook page, but I think I should share it with people who aren’t on my social media bandwagon:

A couple of weeks ago, after just one weekend blog entry, we raised over 17,000 dollars for poor people in Guatemala.

Thank you.

My brother and several of his Christendom College classmates are going on a Guatemala mission trip this month. They plan to spend their two weeks building a well for a local village, providing food and necessary supplies, and running a free medical clinic. I threw up a quick post asking my readers to consider pitching in a few bucks to help them finance these efforts, and you guys responded eagerly and enthusiastically.

17,000 dollars. Awesome.

Every dime of that will be going to providing fresh water, food, supplies, and medicine to those in need. You aren’t paying for plane tickets for college students here. This money goes right where it belongs.

I don’t want to wander too far off the tracks and turn this into a political statement, yet I can’t help but notice something. I often get into arguments about the Nanny State. I make my point that multi-trillion dollar entitlement programs aren’t necessary because Americans are charitable and generous on their own. We will take care of each other, if only the government would back away and let us do what needs to be done. In response, I’m usually informed that I’m far too optimistic (which is just about the only time I’ll ever be accused of such a thing). I’m told that the government needs to do “what Americans aren’t willing to do themselves.” I’m told that the poor will be left to whither and die without the government facilitating forced “giving.” I’m told that the churches have failed in their duty to provide for the less fortunate.

I’m told such things. And then I write one post — just one — saying, “hey, can you chip in to help build a well and buy some food for poor folks in Guatemala,” and what happens? Scores of readers say, “absolutely.” A few days later, we’ve raised 17 grand.

Seventeen thousand dollars won’t solve world hunger, but it’ll sure help a lot of people in a lot of ways.

In fact, I’d say 17,000 bucks is a pretty good haul, considering most of my readers are heartless, uncaring, poor-hating, right wingers.

Thanks, everyone.

For anyone who missed my original appeal and would still like to contribute a buck or two, use this link to my original post.

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79 Responses to I asked you to donate to poor people in Guatemala, and here’s what happened

  1. Zeke Radford says:

    I too, believe that most people (Americans included, of course) are much more charitable than most people think.

  2. SLIMJIM says:

    Wow, praise God! It would be great to see some pictures and a report as well. Praise God…seriously!

  3. Our was all the bleeding heart liberals that just come here to insult you that donated the $17,0000, obviously 🙂
    Whyimconservative.wordpress.com

  4. Tapestry garden says:

    Thank you for the update. We are very blessed to be here in the United States of America. I know the funds were sent with love and prayers

  5. RobinA says:

    You make a great point, but I wonder how many times the 17k contributors have walked right past and chosen not to help someone on their own street. Yes, we are a very generous people. But we are choosy about who we are generous with. For example, to potential donors there’s a difference between people who don’t have water and people who live in a free country and get addicted to drugs. And there’s a difference between someone you admire asking for contributions to a noble cause and someone you’ve never met before (and perhaps have little respect for) asking for a handout. We help those who pass our judgment. It’s sad but true that some of the same people who contribute to humanitarian aide in, say, a central American country (providing food and medical care) are also the same ones who complain when their tax dollars go to help pay for medical care or food for a sick child of someone from the same country who is here illegally. I do agree, though, that the church can and would do its job if allowed to, but only if its members took the job seriously right here at the local level.

    • Alsatian says:

      Robin, I support giving medical care and food to someone here illegally. Then deport them. We cannot possibly house the entire world here in the U.S. We need to keep people from coming here illegally in the first place.

    • Laura says:

      I think what you are saying about charity is true, that people are choosy with who they are generous with, and that we help those who pass our judgement. But isn’t that our right to do that, with our own money? Shouldn’t we be allowed to decide for ourselves where our charity goes, instead of it being taken from us by our government and dolled out without our consent?

      • RobinA says:

        I think you can argue that right. I don’t necessarily disagreement with you. My post was in response to:

        “I’m told that the government needs to do “what Americans aren’t willing to do themselves.” I’m told that the poor will be left to whither and die without the government facilitating forced “giving.” I’m told that the churches have failed in their duty to provide for the less fortunate.”

        There is an element of truth to those statements. Just because we are willing to respond to the financial needs of a missions project doesn’t mean that we are willing to do the same for the poor and needy in our own communities. Can you honestly say that if the government quit taxing you for social services, that you would take that same money and find a local charity to support with it? I see both sides to this argument. A rising tide floats all boats, and there is value in a community where the poor are fed and educated (even if it’s the government doing it). Maybe I’m a cynic but I don’t believe that individuals, even churches, would take care of the local poor and needy if the government quit doing so. Some would, but I’m not convinced most would. Too many aren’t trying very hard to do what they can now. I believe churches do deserve some criticism for dropping the ball in this arena… they seem to value/promote foreign missions more than local ones. It’s been a long time since a church I’ve attended put as much effort and money into caring for local needs as they do raising money to travel internationally to meet similar needs elsewhere. Examples – a single mom whose husband walked out on her wouldn’t have to humiliate herself and ask for govt. assistance if the local church took serious God’s promise to be the father and husband to that family. Churches even put on programs/seminars on how to apply for govt assistance. A local dentist flies to Central America every year to provide dental care to a poor region (great! but what about the poor and uninsured right here in our own community – you offer no free clinic days for them!). We “adopt” children in other countries by sending money to cover their expenses, and we reach out to other countries to adopt their unwanted newborns (foreign adoption is all the rave now in local churches) while there is an embarrassing number of sad, unloved, unwanted/orphaned older children living in institutions right here in our own city. Sometimes I think pride is the problem. We do not what needs to be done but what makes us feel good about ourselves. It’s confounding to me, when you consider the importance and purpose of a local church.

        • If you want a church that helps locally you should check out the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. http://www.mormon.org

        • Jeff says:

          All these people you are criticizing just raised $17,000 so people in another country can get medical help and food. Sounds like the wrong crowd to accuse of being stingy towards the needs of others. I’m willing to bet that the people who give to this cause are the same people that give to local charities as well.

    • Alex says:

      IMO, people work harder and more passionately for causes they actually believe in. Charity under the duress of taxes has and will always garner the bare minimum of what people are willing to give. Just because EVERY American doesn’t wish to donate his hard-earned money to drug rehabilitation doesn’t mean that millions of people—perhaps those who have actually been affected by the problem—wouldn’t huddle around the cause. The same goes for green energy, MS, cancer, the arts, homelessness, libraries, museums…etc. We’ve all been touched by SOMETHING. People will give more to causes close to their hearts and actually feel GOOD about it. In a perfect world, we’d be taxed only for what it takes to run our municipalities and be able to do with the rest what we wish.

  6. Lisa says:

    Matt, I just wanted you to know the first time you posted the link, it wouldn’t allow me to contribute. It’s possible a lot of other people had the same problem. Fortunately, this time it worked and I was able to contribute. Where much is given, much is required. Bless your family.

  7. eikon6 says:

    Your brother did the right thing by asking for your help.

  8. Milo says:

    Many of us were very happy to give our little bit to others with the hope that it might really help someone truly in great need. I honestly hope great success to the recipients. In addition to installing a well as a perminate solution to clean water needs are there any plans on aiding the locals with a long term solution for providing food such as training the local population better ways to either farm or fish? Also, are there any plans to educate any of the locals on construction or any other ways to enable them to provide better for their lives? Many people want to help others and I know that those in need don’t want a handout but more of a helping hand to transition themselves into a better tomorrow.

  9. Jillocity says:

    great praise for the help your brother and his group received, even greater that it went directly to the people who needed the help…God is good, and so are a lot of his people…

  10. laurielou2 says:

    Do you really consider most of your readers “heartless, uncaring, poor-hating, right wingers”? Ouch.

    • He was being sarcastic. People call his readers that, so he was showing those people that clearly charity is not only done by the left.

    • Alsatian says:

      laurielou2, I think it’s liberals who would say that of Matt’s readers. Matt’s being sarcastic:)

    • @laurielou2, NO, Matt was being sarcastic…

    • Sarah says:

      Ummmm…. I’m pretty sure that was said tongue-in-cheek, considering the context of the post.
      Wait… Is this comment supposed to be tongue-in-cheek as well? Sometimes it gets a little thick around here and I miss things.

    • Jennifer says:

      Sarcasm

    • RobinA says:

      I believe that was sarcasm. That’s how conservative Christians are regularly portrayed.

    • not qualified for anything says:

      laurielou2, Matt was just repeating what many liberals say about conservatives. He was making a point that although they call us these names we obviously are none of them as evidenced by the quick response and the sense of charity..

    • Roelie says:

      Yes – double ouch! I have found most people support you and give your controversial subjects praise for bringing them out into the open ?? Is this really how you are seeing the majority of your readers? I think my feelings might be hurt ……..just a little.

    • Lacey says:

      I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm Laurie. 🙂

    • SJH says:

      That was a joke– sarcasm– based on the remarks he’s received about how he is too optimistic about human generosity (and probably also based on some liberals who seem to think they have a monopoly on charity). From reading this post, I’m pretty sure Matt thinks that many of his readers are kind, caring, concerned citizens. 🙂

    • Jill says:

      not sure whether you have been following him for awhile or not, but he has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. it was a joke b/c that’s the general belief left wingers claim right wingers are

    • johnspenn says:

      laurielou2 Matt was using a little sarcastic irony there, as that is how those on the left like to portray those on the right.

    • Fiveupnorth says:

      Matt was being sarcastic, as that is how crazy liberals refer to conservative, common-sense folks, many of whom read his blog and contributed to his brother’s mission.

    • S H says:

      I think there was a little bit of sarcasm when he said that. Right-wingers are mainly the ones sharing Matt’s views. We have been accused of being all those things, and he was adding a bit of sarcasm to that because obviously most of us are not that way as evidenced by the outpouring of support.

    • Jen D says:

      He was being sarcastic. Geez.

    • Becca says:

      No, he was sarcastically remarking on what a lot of liberals accuse him and his readers of being any time any sort of entitlement program is mentioned.

    • laurielou2 says:

      Thanks, guys. I’m usually very fluent in sarcasm, but clearly, I’m off my game today. : )

  11. Susan says:

    There should be an address where people who don’t use PayPal can send a check.

  12. Considering the stats you claim of two to three million hits per day on your blog, $17K is merely sweeping up the pennies that fell out of your readers’ pockets. A half a penny per person response rate is nothing to brag about.

    • Scott says:

      How much did YOU contribute?
      FOOL!

      By the way, your online name is appropriate.

    • ? says:

      How much did you donate?

    • Chris Brooks says:

      I’ll admit $17 grand doesn’t sound like much given how many readers he has, but it’s still a lot of money for this project.

    • Yes, Chris, $17K is a lot of money, for Guatemala. We only brought up the dismal stats because thanking contributors wasn’t good enough for Matt. He had to try to use this fundraiser as an example of how generous Americans are (statistically, we are the most miserly) and ask why do we need trillion dollar government social programs. Sorry. Let’s say every person who read the post donated $1. That means half of one percent of the readers of the blog for that day gave a buck. That’s generous?

      • Curtis says:

        Unfortunately, not all of Matt’s readers are supportive. Some of Matt’s readers, like yourself, are haters. Go on drinking your haterade.

      • Your hatred is obvious. You went onto a blog to denigrate the contributions of others because their politics doesn’t match yours. You claim it’s because he was “bragging”, but we know better. He was trying to say thank you to his readers that donated, but you took this opportunity to try to make it seem like they did nothing.

  13. Faith says:

    Wonderful!

  14. ryoughn says:

    The only reason America is not finished is God does have a remnant still praying and putting legs to their prayers. Your brother is one of those. This was good news in an age of strife. It should give us hope. God has not abandoned America, He’s waiting for us to humble ourselves & repent.

  15. Sid Avery says:

    Thanks for informing us, Matt. I pray that many people will be blessed by your brother’s mission trip and this money raised.

  16. Vicki says:

    He was totally being sarcastic. This is the liberals definition of the right.

  17. Dennis B. says:

    Sarcasm.

  18. madblog says:

    Another thing to point out: $17, 000 doesn’t sound like a lot in the U.S., but in third-world places it will go surprisingly far. It’s a fortune there.

  19. extratlc says:

    Dear Matt – some people do not understand your satire… I on the other hand prefer it. It’s so enjoyable and refreshing to have someone who is willing to point out the truth in such a way.
    Way to go on raising so much money and I wish we all would continue to do more good in the world wether it’s through money, acts, time, or any other gift the Lord has given us.

  20. Tom p says:

    Thanks, Matt for the report. It’s reassuring to hear. And it is also true that God’s blessing has not left the USA because of dedicated missionaries like these and our continued support of Isreal (albeit half-hearted of late) (read Gen. ch 12. My church also sends a group to India to help feed gypsies, support local pastors and most importantly to deliver the gospel which is what will set people free ultimately.

  21. Scott says:

    Matt,

    Please don’t ever stop using sarcasm or your delectably dry sense of humor just to avoid alienating the ignorant.

    I think you should require people to pass a test before they’re allowed to read your blog.

  22. redheadmom8 says:

    Once again, you’ve managed to make a great point. Congrats on the fundraiser and blessings to your brother.

  23. eaglecam5 says:

    I laughed out loud when I read his closing remark. He described well how those on the “outside” view those of his readers who share his world view. Matt obviously likes his readers, and is appreciated by them.

  24. Clifford says:

    We were pleased to help here in Canada as well, and oh yes, sorry for obliterating both your men and women’s hockey teams in the Olympics. Perhaps you can give it a try again in 4 years. Love your blog, Mattt !

  25. Al T says:

    Generally those who criticize the philanthropy of the private sector are those who make their living in the taxing, collection, spending, and distributing any remainder that leaves Nanny State proponents feeling good about beneficial use other peoples wealth. ,

  26. vikingbitch says:

    Why don’t those stupid churches spend the damn $17k RIGHT HERE IN THIS COUNTRY?

    Christians are so phony– off to save the ‘poor little foreigners’, when we have HUNGER RIGHT HERE IN THIS COUNTRY. For God Sakes!

    These Christians don’t do it for the foreigners– they do it to make themselves feel like superiors people– look at me, I’m feeding the poor.

    I’d be more impressed if you fed AMERICANS. This country is in trouble–open your eyes!!

    • TheApostlePaul says:

      *Christians are so phony– off to save the ‘poor little foreigners’, when we have HUNGER RIGHT HERE IN THIS COUNTRY. For God Sakes!*

      ‘Missionary evangelism’ is usually less about helping people than about creating a docile native labor force. Read “Diary Of An Economic Hitman” by John Perkins.

    • What the heck is wrong with you? People starve to death in Guatemala. Last I checked, that doesn’t generally happen in America. Why don’t you applaud the charity rendered and do something yourself instead of complaining about a country in much greater need receiving charity?

  27. Jen says:

    Matt. I think this is great and kudos to your brother and the group he is working with. I know that our government wants people to believe we are unwilling to help anymore, but I also know there is tons of church programs and other folks in the communities lending their hand when they can. AND not just at the holidays. If the government shuts their mouth and lets the churches go back to helping its communities then you could see this more. BUT.. the government will not do this because they would then lose the power over the poor and slowly make us all poor. I am not a right wing, by the same token I am not a left wing either. I am somewhere in the middle and believe you can only help those who want it. I have done this myself on many occasions. My husband and I have fostered a few children and have personally helped a few families and did it ALL without any assistance from the government. I think this is one arena that needs to be left to the community and they churches. It sure would free up billions of welfare dollars to go where it is better needed.

  28. TheApostlePaul says:

    *I make my point that multi-trillion dollar entitlement programs aren’t necessary because Americans are charitable and generous on their own.*

    The American people give around $5 billion per year to charity. That’s great-unfortunately, total need is more like $25 billion per year.

    • Need is a matter of perception. What do you consider people needing for charity? As far as most of the world is concerned, not starving to death is all they need. Plus, I’d be willing to bet that if all our entitlement programs went away, people would donate more because they’d know that there’s no fall-back for the poor.

  29. lgandre says:

    For what it’s worth–I tried to give when you posted that comment and it ended up being so complicated (I don’t remember the details) that I gave up. I wouldn’t be surprised if I wasn’t the only one.

  30. That’s a wonderful cause, I love that Guatamala is working to create a country that will thrive… they are working toward taking care of their orphans and villages (with the help of amazing missionaries) to keep the country alive and being to thrive. I always say the world is full of best.people.ever… the Gov’t didn’t help us when my daughter Madeline died, our friends, family and neighbors did…

  31. Victoria says:

    Thanks for the great update! I just finished a book that was mostly all statistics, all data drawn from actual transactions, that showed conservatives and Christians donate far more money to charity than any versions of left leaners. Written by a liberal turned conservative when the data itself proved that point.

  32. Alex says:

    Great cause Matt and funds well-raised! Congrats to your brother and his team, I’m sure they’ll do excellent work in Guatemala.

  33. Melissa says:

    Amen!

  34. Winter says:

    To those arguing need vs. donations, may I play devil’s advocate for a moment? I humbly suggest that if the government didn’t insist on taking 25% plus of my family’s income, we would have much more to donate to different causes.

    Congratulations! You have a generous readership.

  35. Carlos García says:

    As a Guatemalan I would like to offer my sincere and deep gratitude to people like you who care about their human brothers and sisters and forget their own person for a bit. I have helped as a translator to groups of Americans that come here to do humanitarian work and offer some relief to the sufferings of my people, and only the best we wish to your nation, its future and its citizens. Thank you in the name of my country, thank you sincerely.

  36. Wow. That post must have shown up on surgery day because I never saw it, or was too drugged to remember seeing it. That is amazing. Guatemala has a HUGE place in my heart. I will never ever ever forget the people that I met there and I am looking forward to the time when I can spend more of my time and resources helping people there.

  37. Allah_speaking says:

    >In fact, I’d say 17,000 bucks is a pretty good haul, considering most of my readers are heartless, uncaring, poor-hating, right wingers.

    Out of curiosity, did you personally check the voter registrations of your donors?

    I’d say that over the course of my heartless, uncaring, poor-hating, conservative life, I have easily donated that much as an individual to various causes and charities… I guess I’m just plain evil…

  38. billy says:

    This is great! I hope there are more opportunities like this

  39. Pingback: Matt Walsh (was almost right and then blew it) about: Private charity | What is Matt Walsh wrong about today?

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