Where Is the ‘Charity’ In Relief Methods

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Camden Courier-Post – June 6, 1933


Who Founded Church of England – Reforestation and Economic Recovery

But the Greatest of These is Charity

To the Editor:

Sir-Beautiful words, well spoken.

Especially when Charity means, in a general sense, love, benevolence, goodwill, that disposition of heart which inclines men to think favorably of their fellow men, and do them good.

We read where Dr. Stone was asked to resign because his heart ruled his head. In your editorial, Mr. Editor, something seems wrong somewhere. There seems that Mr. Cramer is unaware of the meaning of charity. Dr. Stone may or may not be the man for the job. When one has a comfortable job at the taxpayers’ expense one can easily dispense charity, especially if he uses somebody else’s money. Dr. Stone has a comfortable job, and, perhaps, he was better suited for the job because he was sure of where the next meal was coming from but Mr. Cramer evidently was of another opinion. To him Charity is a business. Since the taxpayer and the philanthropist both practice charity, the former directly or indirectly through taxation, the latter of his own free will and accord. The latter knows where his money is going or he does not give it; the former has a right to know if he so desires, because whether it be salaries or relief, he is the one paying the bill.

The present way the relief is being run is, perhaps, the most autocratic thing ever done in the city of Camden. The ones in charge think they are above question or reproach. But one thing is certain, and that is the citizens do not think that way about it. If these in the seats of the mighty refuse to give interviews without long waits, then the citizens should inquire from someone who will give them satisfaction. We want to know who is working for the relief, where they live, how long they have lived there, their salaries, where they came from and their qualifications. Also who is getting relief and where they live. There is little to fear for those who need relief, who are, either getting it or not getting it, it is the people who do not need it that causes those who do need it not to get it.

Imagine, if you can, 6828 people of one race out of a total of 11,400 getting relief; imagine, if you can,25, 600 people getting relief in the city of Camden alone and, perhaps more than that number in the county and only eight of these were found to get relief who did not deserve it. And then they say it is none of your business, go to the Courier and get it.

When information is desired, Mr. Editor, we have to believe somebody. Do you have the information and are you holding out on us? Or is it a case of passing the buck? There is hardly a person in this city who knows somebody that needs relief and there are few people who don’t know somebody who is betting relief and does not need it. Increasing pay of investigators, employing college girls and laying off married men, cutting allowance of those who need relief, makes undeveloped minds run around in circles. When no satisfaction is given to those who pay the bills and are told that it is none of their business, then one must feel as if there is no justice, and the very fact that of all virtues the greatest of them is charity, then the words charity and relief, such as shown and practiced in the city of Camden, should never be used in the same sentence.

Frederick Von Nieda, President of Congress of Civic Associations


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