★★☆Average Americans Gave Away Billions in 2014

2015年07月06日 ★★☆, American Life & Culture, As It Is, VOA, 自然.

Read and understand the story. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

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  1. generous/ˈʤɛnərəs/(n)
  2. freely giving or sharing money and other valuable things

  3. charity /ˈtʃerəti/ (n.)
  4. the act of giving money, food, or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.

  5. less fortunate /ˈlɛs ˈfoɚtʃənət/ (n )
  6. not as lucky

  7. fiber /ˈfaɪbɚ/ (v )
  8. strength or toughness of character

  9. proportion /prəˈpoɚʃən/ (v )
  10. an amount that is part of a whole


    Average Americans Gave Away Billions in 2014

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    (1) Last year, Americans again showed they are generous people. A majority of Americans, two-thirds, gave money to charity in 2014. And they gave away more money than ever before. They gave away an estimated total of $358 billion. It is a seven percent increase from 2013. This is according to a report, Giving USA 2015: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2014.

    (2) The idea of helping the poor and the less fortunate goes back to the 1700s, when the United States was a British colony. In the 18th century, people gave money to religion and education. But as the country grew and people did well financially, the giving included the arts, health and social causes.

    (3) “Giving has been part of our fiber since the beginning of our country,” said Aggie Sweeney, vice chairperson of the Giving USA Foundation. “Americans have always seen giving as an important part of what makes our communities work. In America, we’ve had a belief of taking care of our own and wanting to be able not to only have government take care of things, but to invest in what we feel is really important.”

    (4) Now, more than two hundred years later, religion and education still receive the most money from Americans. Religious organizations have received more charitable money than any other cause or group over the last 60 years.

    (5) But things are changing. Overall, religion now takes in a smaller percentage of giving. This could be because the United States is seeing a decline, or drop, in religious beliefs, and less people go to church regularly.

    (6) “There’s been a steady decline over the years,” Sweeney said. “We do know, as we look at 40-year trends, that the proportion of American households that are actively involved in and participating in religious or spiritual communities has declined and we believe that that accounts for much of the difference in giving to religion.”

    (7)Most of the money to charity was from individuals. Another report, from the journal Chronicle of Philanthropy says that the top 50 donors from the U.S. gave a total of $9.8 billion. Americans can use charity gifts as a tax deduction on their yearly tax return forms. In 2012, the average cash charitable deduction on the tax returns was $4,449.

    (8) Corporations, or businesses, gave $17.7 billion. That is five percent of the total money donated. Ms. Sweeney says those numbers suggest philanthropic, or charity, giving is not of great importance for many U.S. corporations.

    (9) “Corporate giving increased a bit, but when we look at it as a percent of pre-tax profits, it dropped,” Ms. Sweeney said. “I would love to have corporations feel more of a sense of responsibility and commitment to the communities that helped to make them successful. We just aren’t seeing that.”


    *Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

    1. What do you think about the idea of giving money to charity?
    2. Are there any notable charity organizations in your country? Please state some examples.
    3. Is it a part of your culture to donate money to charity or to do charitable work?
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