Doctors aren’t always right. They don’t have all the answers. They misdiagnosis. I believe that “sometimes” alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, helps—and even solves the problem. BUT, this kind of treatment is also not always right.
Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB—these are all things that plague countries in Africa. These are all things that are not healed by acupuncture. But that hasn't stopped the PanAfrican Acupuncture Project from trying to get donations to do just that. And for just $3,000 you can even become a trainer. You have to wonder about those acupuncture needles in third world countries because that’s one way these diseases spread; I’m sure the organization is responsible enough to tell people not to reuse needles, but do people actually listen? Acupuncture may help people suffering with the illness feel better; I certainly know people who have benefited from it (and, to be fair, the organization is using it to help the symptoms associated with diseases). But right now, people don’t need to feel better—they need actual treatment.
A few years ago, when Haiti really needed medical need, one group named Homeopaths Without Borders (I believe they are out of business now) raised money to send Homeopathic supplies to the country. This was after one of the worst earthquakes in recent memory. They needed antibiotics, clean water and food. And they wanted to send them homeopaths. I’m not saying homeopathic medicine doesn’t have its place—that it doesn’t help anyone. But when someone is bleeding, you give them a Band-Aid.
I hope you feel convicted to help charitable organizations not only financially but through volunteering—but do your homework first. Make sure you are helping fix the problem that needs to be fixed. And make sure the organization is doing what it says. Always use websites like www.charitynavigator.org before making a donation to an organization you have never heard of (or even ones that you have heard of).