The word 'charity' means generosity in giving something to the needy out of loving kindness towards them; and a charitable organization is an institution with funds to help the needy.
There is a proverb: 'Charity begins at home.' A person, who is kind at heart and possesses compassion from his early days towards the weak and the needy in the society, is generally found to help and make gifts to the poor. He finds joy and satisfaction in giving alms to a beggar, or renders some financial relief to the needy persons who are near at hand.
Thus charity begins at home. In other words, it begins in the near neighbourhoods of a person. One first comes forward to help his neighbours, relatives and friends in the very beginning. Afterwards, he extends his, same helping hand to the distant places, where thousands of the needy and the weak people await his help and sympathy.
There are instances in India, of great men, who gave their all to the cause of charity. One such man was Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, the great political leader and a renowned barrister. He donated his house, wealth and all that he had in his possession to his countrymen. In his name, hospitals and similar other charitable institutions are still functioning successfully.
The Birlas, in India, have donated and built many charitable institutions in India for the benefit of the common people. The dharmasalas (a guest-house where pilgrims and travelers are accommodated temporarily free of cost), the hospitals, the educational institutions and numerous scholarships for the poor but meritorious students are their generous contributions towards their countrymen.
Charity, a noble quality in man, brings welfare in the society. It enlarges human hearts and spreads the message of brotherhood and innocent love among the people.
The practice of charity was adored in ancient days. The saints and the sages lived on alms offered by the affluent people. It was then an accepted practice to give whatever was possible in charity for the welfare of the people and the society.
In a family, the parents should teach their children to be compassionate towards the poor and the distressed. They themselves should practice the noble act, citing bright examples before their off springs, because charity makes one glorious and pure at heart. Selfishness and narrow-mindedness disappear from his character. And that can make him one day really great in his life.