Charles Loring Brace was emphatic that the thousands of miserable homeless children roaming the streets of nineteenth-century New York had the “same capacities” and the same importance “as the little ones in our own homes.” That was an essential part of his Christian creed. But Brace also believed that “habits of life and the inner forces which form character” ultimately drive success and happiness, so it is important for unformed children to be given both love and good examples. He didn’t like traditional orphanages, which he thought fostered passivity and dependence, so in 1853 Brace founded the Children’s Aid Society and began helping boys and girls leave the streets and enter lodging houses that required small payments from the children to remind them of their capacity to support themselves. The society offered workshops and industrial schools that taught trade skills.
One of the most unusual museums in New York City, or anywhere in America, is The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art located in far northern Manhattan. The structure is a unified assemblage of pieces of five separate medieval monasteries that were moved from France to the United States. The site is surrounded by elaborate gardens built precisely as described in medieval manuscripts, and housed inside are several thousand priceless objects created during the Middle Ages, including tapestries, manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork, liturgical objects, ivory sculptures, and furniture.
ACR Among the Coalition Members to Sign, Send Letter
The Alliance for Charitable Reform joined in sending a letter from the Charitable Giving Coalition to newly-elected members of Congress urging them to protect the full value and scope of the charitable deduction as budget and tax-related legislative items are considered. See the full text of the letter below.
The Canada lynx was added to the U.S. endangered species list in 2000. One of the five areas of “critical habitat” for the animal was Loomis State Forest in Washington, where up to half of the cats in that state were thought to live. Most of that forest was trust land managed by the state, with the proceeds from timber sales going to schools to pay for the education of local children. In 1998 the state of Washington offered to end timber sales on the land if conservationists could raise sufficient funds—within one year—to compensate the schools for loss of this lumbering revenue. A local campaign was launched to raise $13 million in donations from private individuals and foundations.
Founded in Michigan in 1844, Hillsdale College was built up in the early 1850s by hundreds of small private donations after professor and preacher Ransom Dunn rode more than 6,000 across the western frontier collecting funds to build a new hilltop campus. While eight out of ten American colleges founded before the Civil War would eventually close, this broad base of giving allowed Hillsdale to survive and prosper. Clear principles were central to Hillsdale’s appeal to donors. It was the first American college to prohibit in its charter any discrimination based on race, religion, or sex. It was the second college in the U.S. to grant four-year liberal arts degrees to women. It was a force for the abolition of slavery. During the Civil War, 400 Hillsdale students fought for the Union, a higher level of participation than from any other western college.
With the holiday season firmly upon us, and the new year right around the corner, we already have our sights turned to a busy 2015. In our final newsletter of the year, we want to share this five minute floor speech delivered on December 10 by outgoing House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI).
“There is no goodwill like that of an American,” Camp said. “As representatives of this great nation, we should do everything in our power to encourage individuals to give more and help charitable organizations expand their reach nationwide.”