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Robert Lupton (2011) clearly states his thesis in the opening line of his book; “What Americans avoid facing is that while we are very generous in charitable giving, much of that money is either wasted or actually harms the people it is targeted to help” (pg. 1). Wrapped in this sentence are several themes that Lupton seeks to unpack throughout his work. He lays the foundation for the need of charitable reform by providing examples and insight into instances where charitable giving can harm where it intended to help. Then he goes on to provide numerous examples of charitable giving that helps instead of harms its recipients. Throughout the book he contributes ways to turn harmful giving into helpful giving. Lupton accounts his four decades …show more content…
The title of the book itself, Toxic Charity: How churches and charities hurt those they help (and how to reverse it), demonstrates that he is seeking to cover a myriad of complex issues in 200 pages. He is addressing the “church”, which in the U.S. consists of about 350,000 congregations (Fast Facts about American Religion, 2006). He also addresses “charities”, of which there are over 1.5 million in the U.S. (Quick Facts About Nonprofits, 2016). Not only is he speaking to an issue that is dealt with by a plethora of organizations, he also speaks to both foreign and domestic aid. Furthermore, he attempts not only to address the issues, but also to provide answers on how to reverse them. Lupton states that that close to 90% of adult Americans are “involved personally or financially in the charity industry” (pg. 2). The impact of Lupton’s thesis could be more impactful if it addressed a more succinct population, for example, churches in the U.S. who give aid to their local …show more content…
Lupton proposes the idea of a Hippocratic Oath for the charity profession to adopt (pg. 8, 128). This idea would move the scope of ideas about charity in the correct direction, while allowing everyone to be on the same page. Two parts of his “Oath for Compassionate Service” are “Never do for the poor what they have (or could have) the capacity to do for themselves”, and “Above all, do no harm” (pg.128). This oath would promote the social work values of social justice and the dignity and worth of a person by ensuring that organizations are coming alongside those that they are serving (Code of Ethics - National Association of Social Workers,

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