ABC Primetime did a segment tonight about charitable giving. In short, high end donors and celebrities are giving more money to universities and symphonies and less to shelters and soup kitchens. Harvard has $22 billion in assets while giving to charities that work with the poor has been decreasing for three years in a row. "Nobody wants to be seen at the local homeless shelter, but they would like to be seen at the Symphony Hall", says Trent Stamp, who runs a non-profit Web site called the Charity Navigator, which evaluates and tracks where America's charitable contributions go.
"If you're working with citizens in this country who are not eating tonight, to me, that's a much more worthwhile cause than people who like to hear a symphony," comments Stamp. As for this winter, he says, "I think it's going to be a very cold and very hungry winter for our most vulnerable citizens."