Charitable giving is a personal thing

posted by Jeff | Monday, October 6, 2014, 10:30 AM | comments: 0

I think anyone who says they weren't tired of seeing crappy vertical cell phone video of people dumping water on their head on Facebook during the ALS ice bucket stuff is totally lying to you. It blew up and faded away in amazingly record time. Anthropologically inclined people found the whole thing fascinating, and understandably so. I think it's great that it raised a lot of money for ALS research and awareness, but I was a little troubled by the tone of the participants at times.

There were two things that left me uneasy (well, three, but the part about people doing the stunt and not donating anything is hard to quantify). The first was the desire of some to publicly shame others who were not interested in participating. I mean, we're talking about adults who were exerting peer pressure and bullying tactics toward others. Still others would get in to pissing matches about whether or not they were doing the challenge right. Seriously? If someone donated and encouraged others to donate, who cares?

The other thing that was uncomfortable was that giving to any charitable cause is, for many, an intensely personal thing, and this was a decidedly public display. I understand that's how these social media phenomena work, but I think we all get involved in certain things for certain reasons. I mean, would I throw as much time and money as I do toward Give Kids The World if there weren't some deeply personal reasons that I believe in the cause? Probably not. And while I will solicit donations from others, I do understand that not everyone will be interested. That's cool, I'm not going to judge. We all have limited resources and are careful about how we choose to use those resources.

At the end of the day, we give of our time and money to things that we feel a connection for. The satisfaction we get from that should first and foremost be the support and execution of a non-profit's mission. That's what really matters.


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