I saw this article the other day about that heartwarming image of the police officer giving the boots to the homeless man, and it's kind of stuck in my craw. Of course, the actual situation is more complicated. Of course, the only thing the poor man sitting in the street barefoot needed to become a productive and sane member of society wasn't boots for gawd's sake. Of course, single moments of charity don't break a cycle of poverty. But, then, what is the point of charity? Especially when it can inspire (or be inspired by) backlash like this has? As an example, I gave to the Rand Paul soup kitchen (I know it's not called that, but it should be) back when that backlash was going on. I know that my donation (even when put with others) was not enough to compensate for the money lost. I'm sure that particular soup kitchen has a lot of work to do. So, what was the point of me giving at that time? Libertarians tend to think of charity as a selfish act (yet also not support government making systematic changes that would actually do things). When there are stories like these, I tend to think they are right. Talk me off the edge, please. Do you care if your charitable acts are effective, or should we just approach charity as "just another drop in the bucket"? How do you make sure your charitable giving is effective? How do you know you're not "glorifying the giver"?