Government Bullies Attack Private Charity

By Lee Bellinger / November 12, 2013

Woman Threatened
with $600-a-day
Fine for Feeding Poor Children

The evidence continues to mount that government employees no longer know their place as servants of the public. Instead, they tend to regard themselves as our masters. Combine this with the Department of Homeland Security militarizing police by beefing up local law enforcement agencies across America, and you get abuses of power on a growing scale.
Lunch
Take the City of Brotherly Love, where Angela Prattis works with a Philadelphia charity to offer summer lunches to low-income children. She donates her time, earning nothing but personal satisfaction by helping people.
Every day, up to 60 low-income children come to a gazebo at her home to receive a nutritious lunch. Kids in need are getting fed because someone in their community cares about them.
Then local government officials found out about it. You’d think Angela would have gotten a commendation for meritorious conduct, or maybe the keys to the city or at least a pat on the back. But no. Angela was slapped with a zoning violation and ordered to file for a variance.
She can’t give food to kids in a residential area until she successfully begs the zoning board for permission – and at a cost of $1,000.
Angela has said despite the government’s threat to fine her $600 a day if she continues the program next summer without the proper approvals, that is exactly what she intends to do.

Pass Out Bottled Water on a Scorching Hot Day?
Not in Phoenix You Don’t!

Angela’s story is not a fluke. On the other side of the country, an Arizona woman found out that no good deed goes unpunished… at least not where city bureaucrats are concerned. During a festival, the woman offered free bottles of water to anyone who wanted them. It was 112 degrees outside, so I imagine her gift was welcomed by many.
However, a city official didn’t agree. This overly self-important bureaucrat told her to stop or be ticketed because apparently you need a permit to give away bottled water in Phoenix! The woman explained to a reporter, “It was really hot, and we wanted to show God’s love. A small act of kindness is a great way to do that.

Man Charged With Littering
for Dropping Dollar Bill

If you’re still not convinced that these are rare and isolated incidents, I’ve saved the best – make that the worst – for last. In Elyria, Ohio, John Davis generously offered a few dollars to a wheelchair-bound panhandler waiting at the top of a freeway exit.
Davis, whose brother is paralyzed, sympathized with the man. Offering a couple of bucks seemed like the least he could do. But, as he passed the money to the man, one of the bills slipped and fell to the ground. The man picked it up and pocketed it. Davis drove on his way, only to be pulled over within seconds.
The cop issued him a $500 ticket – for littering!
Friends, we know you’ll agree when we say that this kind of draconian crackdown against people trying to help others get by is a sign of how out of control our government has become at every level.
We would much prefer our city officials spend time enforcing laws against things like vandalism and violent crimes rather than hassling good citizens trying to do the right thing.
The end result of these kinds of policies is that people become reluctant to help – you never know when some government worker is going to pop out of the bushes and threaten to haul you into court. It all comes down to this – you can’t do anything without government permission if they decide they want to regulate it.

How to Help, Even When Government Makes It Tough

In most of these cases, people saw an opportunity to help in the moment, and they jumped on it. You should be able to do that, but it’s getting harder and harder to know when that’s okay from a strictly legal point of view. Ridiculous, we know.
Helping Charities
If you’re looking for an easy way to help your fellow citizens, it’s safe to donate time, money, or equipment to established charities. Even here, you should do a little research first.
Make sure the charity is in good standing as far as its permits go. And, ask about how they distribute the donations they receive. It’s okay for a little of what they take in to go to overhead and operating expenses, but it shouldn’t be an outlandish percentage. Most of what they receive should go directly to helping the people or cause they claim to help.
Local charities run by volunteers in your community are often the most efficient. Noble-sounding charities in distant cities may have over-compensated administrators who siphon off the lion’s share of the cash.
If you have an idea for a project or charity that you’d like to do on your own, call your local city office and ask about permits. If they claim you don’t need permits for the activity, get it in writing and keep the signed letter with you whenever you’re doing your charitable work.
Or, if you’re up to it, take a stand like Angela Prattis. If you know you’re at risk of being fined for doing the right thing, do it anyway. And then if you get fined, work to show your community how asinine and overreaching some of its local regulations are. It’s a great way to take a stand for liberty. You might make some broader changes going this route, but it’s definitely the harder row to hoe.

A Final Word…

These kinds of regulations are a sign of the creeping tyranny that we’ve warned you about before. Now is the time to prepare for a tougher economy and more government invasions into your everyday life.
Government bureaucrats want control over everything you do – from what kind of gasoline is in your car to what kind of fertilizer you put on your lawn to when and how you help people in need.
Their meddling is on the rise. Your best protection is to become as self-reliant as you can while everything you want to do is still legal and relatively free from red tape.