Libertarianism is a philosophy that prides itself on the complementary attributes of self reliance and voluntary charity. Within the party there are those who volunteer and those who don't. I would just like to take a moment to encourage those of you who don't participate in charity to do so. If we advertise that the welfare state should go because those who truly need can find individual charity, we set ourselves up for failure if we aren't the first ones out there providing that charity.
The other, more subtle, point I feel compelled to make is that those of you who do volunteer your time, money and other resources for charitable causes: you need to advertise this. I know there are many of you who are active in charity and this needs to get out. I was brought up to believe that it demeans your charity if you promote it, however, each of us stands as an advertisement for our cause to those we meet. Our message will come across as more real and more compassionate if those who hear it know that you donate to the food bank or volunteer for the Salvation Army. I personally work two nights a week at the Boulder County Jail tutoring inmates working towards their GED.
If you can add volunteerism to your schedule, there is a volunteer clearing house at:
There are also many worthy charities you can donate to that help the needy (the red cross, homeless shelters, schools, faith based initiatives etc.) or you can support local community resources like public radio. I personally give to KUVO as I would miss them if all tax funded radio were eliminated. I wish all tax funded radio would be eliminated but somewhere there is hypocrisy if I as a Libertarian listener am not willing to pay for it from my own pocket.
To sum up, even as we look to Washington or to the state capitol or our city councils for a more Libertarian place to live, we also need to look to ourselves to be sure we are contributing to a world that can sustain itself on voluntary exchange and charity for those who truly need.
Other suggestions on worthy charities are welcome.