charitable giving

Listener Essay - Cash Or Cans?

Nov 18, 2015

  Kathryn Allen is a writer who lives in Menands. She is vice-chair of the Unity House board.

Cash or Cans?

In the ramp up to the holiday season, community groups are organizing food drives to provide much needed help to local food pantries. At my gym - Plaza Fitness - the trainers have each put out a huge box for donations. They’ve launched a contest to see which of their client teams will bring in the most food for the City Mission.

At first I looked askance at this. A recent New York Times piece suggested that giving cash to food pantries is a better way to help hungry families. The argument is that food pantries can buy food in bulk at regional food banks for much less than donors pay at their local supermarkets.

What’s a donor to do? Cans or cash?

In their number one New York Times best seller Half the Sky, husband-and-wife team Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn brought to light struggles faced by women and girls around the globe, and showcased individuals and institutions working to address oppression and expand opportunity.

  In their latest book, now in paperback, A Path Appears  is a sweeping tapestry of people who are making the world a better place. The book is also a guide to the ways that we can do the same—whether with a donation of $5 or $5 mil­lion, with our time, by capitalizing on our skills as individuals, or by using the resources of our businesses.

Kristof and WuDunn, husband and wife, have co-authored three previous books: Half the SkyThunder from the East, and China Wakes. They were awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for their coverage of China and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2009.

The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy will host a breakfast with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn on Thursday October 29, in Albany. 

On this edition of Vox Pop, joining us to discuss personal finances, including estate planning and charitable giving, is a panel of financial experts.

Thomas Brockley is senior vice president, financial advisor and branch director in the portfolio focus program at Royal Bank of Canada’s Wealth Management division in Albany, New York.

Bill Ringham is vice president and senior wealth strategist, also with RBC Wealth Management, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bill works with high net worth clients in the firm’s north region.