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Reality TV Misses Reality of Giving

Contact: Matt Baxter, 503-639-7364, mbaxter@missionioncrease.org


PORTLAND, Oregon, May 2 /Christian Newswire/ -- Add another reality show to the line-up of the eighty-four currently being aired on TV! Oprah Winfrey is stepping into reality programming with "The Big Give," a new show which features ten people tasked with finding "the most powerful, sensational, emotional and dramatic ways" to use a significant amount of money to affect others in a positive way.


Producers are betting the feel good factor will want to make millions of viewers tune-in to watch people give away Oprah's money.


This reality show reflects an interesting trend about giving today. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2004 the average family gave approximately 2% of their annual income.


"People would rather watch someone else give instead of making the gift themselves." says Dave Farquhar, president of Mission Increase Foundation. "People love the idea of giving, but it's far easier to give away someone else's money than to sacrifice and give out of our own pockets."


Unfortunately, this "arm-chair giving" robs viewers of the true joy they could experience.


"The full joy of giving can't be experienced by watching someone else do it. People need to understand what God has to teach us about giving." says Farquhar. "We need to live out the example Christ gave us in living a life more characterized by giving than receiving. The statistics don't lie—people who give are happier, healthy, and take hold of life that is truly life."


Arthur C. Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, notes in his book Who Really Cares?: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism, that people who give money charitably are 43 percent more likely to be "very happy" than non-givers.


"In our interaction with ministries and donors," says Farquhar, "we have seen how giving changes both the giver and the receiver. Transformational giving is about changing lives and our goal is to help people realize that joy."


For anyone interested in learning more about this or other philanthropic topics, visit www.missionincrease.org and sign up for a free monthly newsletter.


Mission Increase Foundation is a national granting and training foundation that seeks to transform lives for Christ through effective giving and training.