What I like about the editorial is the emphasis that there are many ways and at many levels to give back to the immediate community and/or the world at large. It doesn't have to be something that shows up on a tax statement as charitable giving.
It took me a while to find a method for me to contribute to society beyond doing my job and which did not drive me nuts. I would try various organizations, and they just didn't work for me. If you are like me and haven't found your spot yet, keep looking or do what I did and make up your own spot(s).
Now-a-days, I give a great deal in time (and even some money) in ways that help the world, but which can not be put on a tax statement. I'm fine with that. I'm happy that I'm doing something significant - whether the government counts it or not.
While Steve did not intend this to be a political or religious discussion, that discussion surprised me. It's the same rehash of arguments I've seen all the time, but this time, it sparked a new thought for me:
......... For most issues, people probably would label me as a far lefty. I wonder if those stats that show how much people give by "red" vs "blue" are missing out on a ton of data because lefties do more of the type of charitable work that I do? The stuff that is not counted on a tax return? Or that a person is even likely to report in a (usually poorly written) survey? Very interesting thought.
I'll also say that there is a big difference between charitable giving and giving to a church. I wonder if those charitable statistics that people throw around make that distinction. In other words, I wonder how the statistical differences between states would look if money given to churches did not count. (I'm assuming that the current stats include all tax approved "charitable" giving. That may not be correct.)