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Editorial

Charity should not be status symbol

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February 4, 2010

After the tragedy in Haiti, America has been hurled into the most charitable state of mind itís been in since September 11, 2001. However, this circumstance differentiates itself from that terrible day in 2001 and other national tragedies – like Hurricane Katrina – because it grounds itself beyond American borders.

UW-River Falls has proven itself generous with its numerous charitable efforts. There have been fundraisers, sales and drives put on by all ten residence halls, multiple organizations and the University in general. The funds and goods raised say a lot about how giving UWRF is when the nation is looking for help. Over the past week, the University raised over $1,000 in just a single drive. The residence hall collection efforts will add several hundred more dollars. The efforts at UWRF are obviously commendable.

The Student Voice Editorial Board feels, however, as needs in Haiti lessen, it is important for students to remember to continue their ìcharity hot-streak,î and begin donating their time, goods and money to issues and organizations devoted to problems here, in the United States. The tragedy in Haiti should be the awakening U.S. citizens need to realize all that needs help in this country. With the number of domestic issues that need various donations, there is hardly any excuse to avoid continuing charitable gestures.

The sad truth is that too many Americans are donating to the Haiti Relief Fund because it is the current philanthropic bandwagon – giving money and time not because they truly care but because it can be used as a false badge of humanitarianism to loudly brandish to neighbors. As the need for charity lessens in Haiti, students are going to be faced with the desire to donate out of the goodness of their hearts, not because a slew of celebrities convinced them to or because Michelle Obama told them it was their duty as American citizens. The new year brings with it plenty of New Yearís Resolutions, most of which will never be kept. But perhaps this new decade is the time to make a clear and defi nitive resolve, one of selfl ess and independent charitable sacrifice.