Why is there a need for charities?

Why is there a need for organizations such as Cancer Research, EMMAUS or any other body that provides assistance? Is it because humanity as a whole – not only those who control the world’s money supply and decide who should have a stake in it – has its priorities skewed?

Let me share an example. While I was staying in a youth hostel in London a few weeks ago, I noticed one guest who clearly had one or two issues. I glanced and turned my eyes away from his face because I didn’t want him to feel an acute facial twitch which he had was coming under the spotlight. He had his breakfast sitting with his back to the rest of the guests, so as not to draw attention to the twitch, or so I surmised. When he checked out, he needed to cross the main road at an intersection a few yards away from the hostel entrance. He stood at the crossing for over an hour. He obviously had problems crossing the road, even though it wasn’t that busy. It was long enough for a resident to alerted the security guy. The doorman said he didn’t want to call an ambulance in case it turned out to be non-essential. The guest went over to ask the guy if he needed help. He vigorously shook his head. Shortly after, he plucked up the courage to cross the road.

Whether the guy needed help or not is anyone’s guess, but it is clear there are people in his situation that do.

I talked about the guy to someone distant I chat with online who lives in Los Angeles.
“He must have had some acute phobia – a mental illness.”


“Seemed that way.”

“Homelessness and mental illness are closely related.”

“Homelessness in L.A. is a big problem. Thousands are sleeping on the streets or underneath bridges. We could quite easily care for the homeless and give them adequate housing if governments in the U.S. and elsewhere didn’t waste ridiculous amounts of money on defense expenditure – ceaselessly in search of some latest destructive technology. Those that lead us seem more interested in killing rather than caring.”

That’s part of the problem, surely – irresponsibility. There nee ds to be other ways to shift priority which is why charities exist. If left to governments, little, if at all, would be done to help the needy.

Sadly, as long as people don’t translate into profit, organizations such as Cancer Research and EMMAUS will remain.


David Butterworth


OMP Admin Note: David Butterworth is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues.

David’s first book CRUISING COAST TO COAST can be found on Amazon and his flash fiction will be available in Volume 5 of BITE SIZE STORIES (coming early 2017)



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