Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giving to Charitable Organizations: Part 2

During my research to find a humanitarian aid organization to which I would like to donate a percentage of my monthly sales, I came across the web site for Help Darfur Now.  While I feel that the cause they are supporting is definitely the type that I'd like to support, one of the aspects of "spreading the message" kind of bothered me.  (I know this organization is not the only one to use the following method, but I had to choose someone to be the example, right?).

Right on the homepage is a list of merchandise that can be sold to raise money for Help Darfur Now. Bracelets, t-shirts, stickers that all say 'Darfur'.  I totally understand that getting the message of the cause out into the world should be done by any means possible; however, I would just feel silly wearing a shirt that says "Darfur".  People in Darfur are being murdered in cold blood and here I am wearing a t-shirt for them.  It just doesn't feel right.  I know the intention is good, but it just almost seems inappropriate.

If people are DYING I need to be doing a hell of a lot more than donating money and wearing a t-shirt that supports the cause.  Sadly, my only option right now is to donate money and receive a t-shirt in return. I can just see some Hey Bro wearing a Darfur shirt, hanging out with his bros, talking about how he helped Darfur.  It annoys me.  And maybe it shouldn't.  Maybe I should be happy that that shallow sack of crap actually felt compelled to help someone other than themselves.  But there they are laughing and acting stupid, wearing their Darfur t-shirt while an entire family dies of hunger or bullet wounds.  Going off on a side track. Hmm, I think Brandy is harboring some resentment... 

Anyway!  As I am not brave enough (or mentally/emotionally/physically capable of abandoning my beloved better half) to take my butt over there and volunteer to help with my own two hands, I am relegated to helping by donating money, writing letters to influential political figures, and spreading information about the cause.  This makes me angry and sad as most of these tasks seem so petty compared to the gravity of the situation.

I will probably end up donating to Help Darfur Now, because they are a Darfur-related organization that actually says how the money you give is directly helping the people of Darfur:

"When our chapters raise money, they send it to Help Darfur Now and we send it to the organizations mentioned above [Doctors Without Borders , the International Rescue Committee, the UNHCR and other relief organizations]. We have made arrangements with these organizations so that the money is specially earmarked for Darfur."

When I looked at the financial records of a few of the other leading organizations that support the Darfur cause, I noticed that most of the money was going towards advocacy and promoting awareness, and not directly helping the people.  While I know that these aspects of supporting the cause to end genocide in Darfur are important to eventually bringing peace to that region of the world, I want my money to go to an organization that is directly helping the people that are in need right now, by providing food, medical assistance, supplies, and other items that are required.

There are a few other organizations that I'd like to investigate a little further before I decide which one I'd like to lend my support.  I'll begin by donating a percentage of April's sales, and then a percentage of every month's sales after that.

1 comment:

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