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经济危机下,美国人仍在奉献爱心

(2008-11-28 16:32:21)
标签:

金融危机

美国大选

慈善

圣诞节

财经

分类: 随笔
Americans still giving, despite economic crisis
经济危机下,美国人仍在奉献爱心

SEATTLE - As more Americans turn to charity amid worsening economic gloom, operators of food banks and other aid groups are relying on the surprisingly resilient generosity of their neighbors and finding that even when times are tough, people still give.
西雅图---尽管笼罩在每况愈下的经济阴影中,越来越多的美国人却越发热心于慈善事业,这使得在美国粮食捐赠中心(FOOD BANK)和其它援助组织的工作人员的工作日益依赖于自他们周围人在灾难中迸发的令人吃惊的慷慨。他们发现,即便世道艰难,人们却始终在为他人付出。
经济危机下,美国人仍在奉献爱心
In Seattle, Boeing Co. employees tripled their cash donations this year to Northwest Harvest, operator of Washington's largest food bank. And every week, Northwest Harvest spokeswoman Claire Acey says, companies call to say their employees have decided to skip their holiday party and buy food for the hungry instead
在西雅图,波音公司的职工们捐出比往年多三倍的现金给华盛顿区最大的美国粮食捐赠中心--西北丰收。据西北丰收的发言人克莱尔爱西称,每周都有公司宣布他们的员工放弃假期的聚会,转而为那些饥饿的人购买食品。
"We see things like that and they are little beacons of hope," Acey said.
爱西说:“在我们看来,这些事情就像点点的希望之火。”
The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University says that historically, charitable giving has been recession-proof.
印第安纳大学的慈善中心研究表明,从历史来看,慈善救助一向不受经济不景气的影响。
Contributions to American charities have increased during 39 of the past 40 years in today's dollars, and a change in the tax laws — not the stock market crash — can be blamed for the drop in 1987, said Melissa Brown, associate director of research for the center. Between 69 and 72 percent of people give routinely, she said.
该研究中心的助理主任梅丽莎布朗说,如果用今天的美元的价值来衡量,在过去的40年中的39年间,美国的慈善事业所得到的援助一直是增长的。只有在该诅咒的1987年,由于税法的修订,而非股灾导致了善款的减少。大约有百分之69到72的美国人都有定期捐款的习惯,梅丽莎补充道。
Other research by the center has shown a connection between a drop in the Standard & Poors 500 stock index and a decrease in charitable giving, but the impact is less than 1 percent for every 100 points the index drops. Inflation and other economic factors can reverse the impact.

这个中心的其它调查表明,500种标准普尔股票指数的下跌是和慈善救助的下降存在某种关联的,但是指数每下跌100点,给善款带来的下降也不到百分之一。通货膨胀和其它经济因素能抵消指数下跌的冲击。

Brown said the stock market has a relatively small impact on charitable giving nationally. In 2002, when the stock market was down, 70 percent of the population still gave an average of $2,000, she said.
布朗小姐说,从全国的范围来看,股市给慈善救助带来的影响还要少。在2002年,但股市下挫的时候,仍有百分之七十的人口在做善事,人均捐款达到2000美元。
"It totaled billions of dollars and companies were going bankrupt and people were losing work," Brown said.
布朗说:“在公司破产和国人失业的情况下,善款仍达到数十亿元。”
Charities in New York, whose fates are tied more directly to the stock market, have been hit harder by a decrease in donations this year, but the national picture is more positive.
纽约的慈善事业与股市息息相关,善款的数额今年遭到重挫,但全国的局面还是令人鼓舞的。
Better-than-usual Christmas?
今年的圣诞好于往年?

A survey released this week by Federal Way, Wash.-based World Vision indicates that 2008 could actually be a better-than-usual Christmas for the nation's charitable organizations.

世界宣明会(WORLD VISION)所创的华盛顿联邦之路公布的一项调查结果显示,对于全国的慈善组织来说,2008年的圣诞应该确实会比往年好得多。

The telephone survey, conducted in late October by Harris Interactive, found that seven in 10 adults plan to spend less money on holiday presents this year, but about half say they are more likely to give a charitable gift than a traditional present such as clothing or an electronic toy.

这项由哈里斯互动公司举行的电话问卷调查,其结果表明,虽然10个成年人中有7个准备在今年少花钱买礼物,但是他们当中一半的人都表示自己更愿意把礼物送给慈善机构,而不是添置衣物或电动玩具。

World Vision hopes to take advantage of the giving nature of Americans with a holiday gift catalog where presents such as chickens and goats go to disadvantaged families in Africa and other parts of the world.

世界宣明会希望能从美国人乐善好施的天性中得益,把他们捐赠的节日礼物中的如鸡、羊肉等食品送到非洲和世界其它地区的贫困家庭手中。

"At a time when people have things and they know that other people don't, Americans' generosity wins out," said Justin Greeves, senior vice president of Harris Interactive, which regularly polls Americans about their charitable giving.

哈里斯互动公司按期举行一些关于美国民众慈善捐赠的民意测验,它的副总裁贾丝廷格里夫斯说:"在这一刻,当美国民众知道他们拥有很多东西而其它地方的人们尚缺衣少食时,他们的慷慨大方占了上风。”

The American Heart Association says donations are up this year, despite the economic downturn, and the Dallas-based charity is cautiously optimistic about holiday giving, said Suzie Upton, vice president for development.

美国心脏协会的事业发展副总裁苏慈厄普顿说,尽管经济低迷,他们收到的善款仍高于往年,而达拉斯地区的慈善机构也对节日期间能收到的资金表达了较为谨慎的乐观。

Election's role
大选在慈善中的角色


The American Red Cross is in the middle of a major fundraising campaign to make up for a lack of giving earlier this year — the organization's disaster relief fund was broke before hurricane season.

美国的红十字会正致力于一项重要的善款筹措活动中,以弥补今年早些时候产生的资金短缺,这个组织的灾难救济金在飓风来临之前已告罄。

But Red Cross spokesman Jonathan Aiken doesn't blame the economic downturn for the charity's empty pocketbook. He blames the election.

但是红十字会的发言人乔纳森艾肯并没有因此而指责经济低迷给钱库亏空带来了什么影响。他指责的对象是美国大选。

Aiken says America's focus on the presidential election took its eyes away from disaster relief for such things as hurricane relief in Texas and Louisiana.

艾肯称,美国人把注意力都集中在今年的总统选举上,而忽略了对德州和路易斯安那的飓风所需的灾难救济。

The Washington, D.C.-based charity's national campaign to raise $100 million passed the $60-million mark after two months.

两个月以后,在华盛顿地区举行的全国性一亿美元慈善募捐活动所筹的善款已经超过了六千万元。

"We're pretty pleased with that," said Aiken, who could not compare the results with previous national campaigns because the organization does not regularly have them. Most of its income comes from spontaneous giving during national and international disasters.

艾肯说:“我们对此非常满意。”他没有将这一结果与以往的全国性筹款活动相比较,因为红十字会并不经常举行这样的活动。该组织的收入大部分来源于在国内和全球发生灾难期间人们的自发援助。

United Way of King County, Wash., which is one of the most successful United Ways in the nation, expects to reach this year's fundraising goal of $110 million.

在华盛顿肯郡的联合劝募会(UNITED WAY)是整个合众国最成功的劝募会之一,它预期能完成今年募集1.1亿美元的目标。

Volunteers say people seem insecure about the future, but they are also concerned about others and want to help, spokesman Jared Erlandson said.

发言人贾瑞德厄尔兰德森称,义工们都说虽然人们对未来的生活缺乏安全感,但他们依然关心他人,而且愿意去帮助他人。

Erlandson credits the presidential campaign for helping to set a tone for this year's campaign. "People are fired up and they want to help right now," he said.

 厄尔兰德森相信总统大选活动中提出的互助口号给今年的募捐活动设定了基调。“人们的热情被点燃,他们愿意马上伸出援助之手。”

Greeves, of Harris Interactive, said that in a year when people are having trouble meeting basic needs, giving by individuals usually increases food, shelter and health care.

哈里斯互动公司的格里夫斯说,在人们的基本需求难以得到满足的年景,个人的援助常常能增加食品的供给,救济院的设施和卫生保健的加强。

"If it makes them feel good and they feel like it's making a difference, they'll give money," he said.

他说:“如果人们认为这样做心里能好受些,或者能带来一些改变,他们会愿意拿出钱来。”

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