In layman’s view, charity is giving donations or alms to the needy. This is essentially right but charity goes beyond the common perception. The act of charity itself has an accompanying aspect to material giving which is genuine concern for others.
A person can give all the material things he can afford in this world to the poor and yet not be considered truly charitable. This is especially so when the act of giving is based on the performance of certain conditions that will redound to the personal benefit of the giver. If for example, the giver wishes to be publicly recognized for his charitable work just to score some points in a desire to get hold of a certain position, the publicity stunt tends to muddle the real purpose of giving. But if the publicity is intended for the furtherance of a valid cause such as creating awareness to encourage more participation, publicity becomes an important tool in spreading charity as a life principle.
Although every act of giving may be loosely classified as an act of charity in the same manner as the provision of unlimited kindness to others is, charity as an organized act of many should be considered for its merits. For one, organized charity work allows for helping more people at any given instance. Instead of helping on a person-to-person basis, which is basically good, the benefits of charitable work can be extended to more people when combined efforts are channeled to a specific cause.
I am not about to say that we should totally stop in our personal acts of charity. What I am actually leading to is to bring forth the wisdom in organized charity work for consideration of those who have the time, the willingness, and the means to participate in it. There are a lot of charitable organizations already existing that could benefit from our help. Just helping one can make a difference for many people.