Not Another Charity Case
Vast amounts of ink have been spilled pointing out how our attempts at charity go about it wrong. TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie came under fire for his model, which donated a pair of shoes to someone in a developing country for each pair sold, arguably leaving foreign markets flooded with an overabundance of shoes and putting locals out of business. (Mycoskie may be improving his business model these days.) Other criticized aid ideas include cartons of unwanted T-shirts sent to African nations; short-term missions trips, if not planned well; and, generally, any idea that involves a relatively wealthy and privileged person thinking she can use physical resources to stem the tide of a disaster by buying, building, or visiting.
Elizabeth Gerhardt would add to that list our project-based attempts to alleviate gender violence.
Too many Christians, she says, are blind to institutional frameworks — some as close as our own families, churches, and communities — that perpetuate ...1