1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



The providing of help to the poor. That which is given to help the needy. An institution, organization or fund to aid those in need.
Dan Duff

As I look at the charities that are operating around the country and around the world, I think I should like to be the head of one of these organizations. I am a servant by nature and I love to give. I know my children and grandchildren can assert that if ole Duff has it, it can be obtained if the right tactics are used.  

I believe I would have to get some professional help to give me the right advice if I were going to start some sort of charity organization. I believe I would go back to my hometown and set up the main office. I am sure no one would begrudge us a nice office building with all the latest in digital equipment. I would have all my cousins and nieces and nephews working there. I would get in touch with all my old cronies and friends and I would use them to set up the board of directors. They would not draw a salary, but the organization would pick up all their expenses for travel and such to help run the organization. After all it is supposed to be an institution to help others.  

I would have to take a salary, but I would assure the board that my salary would not exceed five percent of the total assets of the organization. I would of course have to have expense funds to go around the country raising money for my charity. I would have to stay in the nicest hotels and of course I would need a car and driver.  

I have a good friend that runs his own CPA firm. I would have him run the books and to make sure that the funds get to the right people and to handle the incoming funds. I would expect him to run it like a business with a large percentage of the funds in some sort of interest bearing accounts. If my organization is like most, I would see about ten percent of the funds taken in to go to the grass roots and if my CPA does his job and can get ten or twelve percent return on the funds in those interest bearing accounts, I should imagine that very little of the funds which comes in would actually be doled out.  

I think I would need some great advertising. after all, those funds need to be coming in on an ongoing basis. Maybe hold a telethon once a year and get all the companies around the country to give hundreds of thousands of dollars. Throw in a couple of national catastrophes and the first thing you know you could have forty, fifty maybe over a hundred million coming in every year.  

So just where should we pinpoint the greatest needs in this country. My first thought would be the forgotten people of America. After all, a lot of those people live on government land that wouldnít grow cactus and most of them live in abject poverty. Some of these people have been all but forgotten by the federal, state, and local governments. I would have ads that show a little baby playing in the dirt in front of an unpainted dilapidated house or an old man with no teeth sitting with a care package with nothing but Baby Ruth bars. I am sure these pictures would be easy to obtain. I would shoot a TV commercial with rag dressed kids around a hut with lousy sanitary conditions. No where would you see pictures of me or my board running around the country at those plush hotels being delivered to our private jets in our personal limos.  

So what do you think of my charity? After all this is a win, win, win situation. I and my board of directors get a lot of money, my organization grows like crazy so I can hire more cousins and kinfolk, keeping them off the government dole and the forgotten people of America get some help. At least more help that the government gives them now and I would be helping people in this country instead of sending it off to some third world country.  

My next question would be, what is wrong with my idea? Do you think I would be doing this for selfish reasons? Isnít this exactly the way most of the charities of this country are run now?  
One of the problems I would have if I ran a massive organization like the one I laid out above would be that I would give everything away and would have nothing in the pot in case a hurricane or a tsunami hit. I donít know why I am like that, it is just my nature that if there is a need I will do everything in my power to fill it. If I did act with my heart instead of my brain, I would have to down size my headquarters and laying off a bunch of kinfolk that would have to go back on the government dole. I would have to tell my crony board members that the gravy train has left the station and they will all have to go back to being greeters down at Wal*Mart.  

Seriously though I think there should be charity organizations, but I also think there should be some sort of regulations which states that at least sixty five to seventy percent of the funds need to be doled out at the grass roots level to help those who are the target of the charity. There are some Christian charities which give more than eighty percent to the grass roots, but by and large they are the minority and most of the charities, even so called Christian ones, give out only about ten percent.

October 2005