A recent study commissioned by the Chronicle of Philanthropy revealed something that won't surprise many people of faith: the more "religious" a state or region of the country, the more likely its people are to give generously to charity.
Here are the top ten most charitable states:
5. South Carolina
9. North Carolina
All of the bottom five states are located in the New England area: Rhode Island (46), Massachusetts (47), Vermont (48), Maine (49) and New Hampshire (50).
(For the complete rankings, click here.)
Obviously, there are many generous people of faith in every state of the union, but the giving divide based upon religious commitment is still very telling. At a time when many are pushing for greater cultural secularization, the fact of the matter is that people of faith make for very good citizens – and very good humanitarians. They are generous and give willingly to alleviate human suffering and wind up making a difference in the lives of countless people.
It should occur to those determined to scrub society of our spiritual foundations that by doing so they will inevitably bring harm to many of the people that desperately need help.
One other point:
According to the Chronicle's findings, households that earn between $50,000 and $75,000 give on average 7.6 percent of their income away as compared to $100K plus households that donate 4.2 percent of their income.
In other words, the study confirms what I've witnessed through the 23 years I've been privileged to serve on the team here at Focus on the Family:
Giving has very little to do with money. In fact, it has a lot more to do with an individual's attitude than it does a person's income.
Know this: God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).
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