The New York Women’s Foundation does laudable work helping women achieve economic security in the Big Apple, while the Bailey House provides low-income New York residents with groceries. Both organizations received a chunk of $3 million in donations from one group last year.
Likewise, on Friday, the United Negro College Fund, another nonprofit organization with a history of doing good, announced a whopping $25 million grant from a corporation and foundation long on charitable efforts.
Yet to see some of the reaction, you’d think the donors were card-carrying members of the National Dog Beating Club. And in this age of not-so-tolerant tolerance, they might as well be. That’s because the Women’s Foundation received $1 million and the Bailey House $30,000 from Wal-Mart — which spread an additional $2 million to other New York City causes — while the UNCF’s windfall came from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation.
This sent the far left into a fit. Charity from right-leaning or conservative organizations? Can’t have that!
As reported by the New York Post, the New York City Council got 26 of its 51 members to sign off on a tersely worded letter to Wal-Mart, in part reading: “We know how desperate you are to find a foothold in New York City to buy influence and support here. … Stop spending your dangerous dollars in our city. That’s right: this is a cease-and-desist letter.”
Yes, please, stop helping women who need job training and poor families who need a meal, you heartless charlatans!
Brothers Charles and David Koch got a similar earful, particularly on Twitter. One woman tweeted: “#UNCF Literally Sells Their ‘Souls To The Devil’ Accepting Checks From The #KochBrothers W/Out Knowing Their Evil History. Craziness.”
Indeed. The next thing you know, the Kochs will spread more evil by donating $100 million to a hospital or something. Oh wait, David Koch already did that, for New York-Presbyterian’s Weill Cornell Medical Center. Saving lives and creating boatloads of jobs is such a dirty business.
The UNCF, on the other hand, was far more pragmatic and grateful for the fifth-largest donation in the organization’s 70-year history. According to the UNCF, $18.5 million of the grant will provide nearly 3,000 merit-based awards. That’s an average award of nearly $6,200 per recipient. The UNCF cited a study showing that one $5,000 scholarship per academic year greatly increases a student’s chance of retention and likelihood of earning a degree. That scholarship also can prevent the accumulation of as much as $20,000 in student loan debt.
The rest of the Kochs’ $6.5 million grant will go for general support of the 37-member Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the UNCF itself. All good causes, to be sure, as are the causes of those getting contributions from Wal-Mart, which now stands accused of trying to engender itself to New Yorkers in order to gain access to the market.
And so what if that’s true? As Fox News’ Neil Cavuto pointed out to New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer: “Do you know how many people apply for the roughly 200 positions that the typical Wal-Mart offers? 8,000. 8,000.” To which the councilman replied: “It doesn’t mean that those are good jobs.”
Which shows how far political discourse has deteriorated in this country. Conservatives, already under attack for funding political speech, face scathing criticism for supporting charities that deliver where taxpayer-funded services can’t. Critics of these donations are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.