Shire Sharing: Charity Without Coercion

The following post was submitted by Amanda from Shire Sharing.

As CopBlock readers, you know that many people attempt to use force and coercion to create “improvements” our in society. This is the entire justification for the police system. I’m from Dallas, Texas, and for a couple of years I was reading the local news daily. I realized over time that the Dallas police were shooting a suspect-in-pursuit about once every two weeks. No arrest, not even a trial; just killed in cold blood. Some people seem to think that’s appropriate; they want to do whatever is necessary to ensure others do the “right thing”.

As a mom, though, I have learned that at the most basic levels, people don’t respond to force in a constructive way. When my daughter was very young I would hold her down and brush her teeth because she wouldn’t do it herself. I was willing to do whatever was necessary to protect her teeth from decay. It was always a hassle and she would never, ever do it herself unless I threatened to “do it for her.” I realized pretty quickly that I wasn’t setting a good example and I wasn’t encouraging autonomy and maturity. Do I want to be calling her every night when she’s 30 years old to threaten her? Finally, I resorted to logic and encouraging self-ownership. “If you don’t brush your teeth, you will get cavities, your teeth will look ugly, and your breath will smell bad. But it’s your choice, it’s your body.” Nowadays when I ask her to brush her teeth, she does it about 99% of the time. I haven’t made a threat in many years but somehow she’s deciding, every day, to brush her teeth. We all know that when someone is beaten into submission, all they’ve done is submitted. For people to truly grow and prosper, they need the freedom to make their own choices.

In a similar vein, many people argue that if we didn’t have taxation to fund welfare – that is, if we didn’t fund welfare through force – that no one would help the poor, sick, disabled, or homeless in our society. However, my libertarian friends and I in New Hampshire are advocates for self-ownership and we want to change the world without the use of force. We want to help the impoverished in our state without relying on the welfare program to bring change. This is why our new charity group, Shire Sharing, has had so much support. It’s an all-volunteer cooperative charity funded entirely through private, voluntary donations. We pool our resources and take on projects that make a positive impact on social problems in our state. Right now we are gearing up for our biggest project yet: to deliver Thanksgiving meals to at least 600 impoverished individuals next month.

Last year was our first attempt at this and it worked out really well. Pete from CopBlock came out and took video of our little effort.  We raised around $1,000 in just a few weeks and used it to deliver over 170 Thanksgiving meals. This year will be our second Thanksgiving doing this, and we’ve set a huge goal. We want to raise $4,000 to bring Thanksgiving to at least 600 needy people! Sound crazy? Well guess what! It’s been only nine days since we started fundraising and we already have over $3,000!

I hope that CopBlock readers will feel inspired and want to join in. We will need a LOT of volunteers to get this done, so if you’re in New Hampshire, please send an email to info@shiresharing.org. If you’re not able to volunteer, I hope you will make a donation to help us reach our goal. We accept multiple forms of payment, listed at www.shiresharing.org/support.

You can see all our past projects, and check our progress on this one, at www.ShireSharing.org. Also on our website, you can find a link to a Google doc where all income and expenses are being displayed publicly. It’s all about transparency, am I right?

Thanks so much to the guys at CopBlock for their continued support, and donation of CopBlock gear to provide to one lucky contributor!

 

 


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