||[Sep. 2nd, 2008|02:38 pm]
I already give to charity. My personal garage was hit with tragedy when our hot water heater leaked at the same time Craig's car broke down and our freezer dispenser stopped opening, so NO, I understand that flood and Hurricanes happen every year, and are BAD, but I'm not going to donate all I can to another "disaster" this year.
It seems like no matter the problem we Americans are expected to step up and use our generosity to overcome any problem while we have less and less income to spend.
Maybe I'm bitter because my medical expenses are so high this year. Maybe I've just reached the limit, but I'm tired of feeling like instead of protecting us all the government does is take more and more of our money and demand our compliance without giving anything back.
So, if you PERSONALLY know of someone impacted by disaster, I implore you to consider giving to them directly in a way that will really make an impact so it will get to them. The US "authorities" don't care about us anymore and just watch, it's now going to an endless media spectacle of who can be the most "compassionate" and "aware" and who can guilt us the most, until the next "tragedy" or "victim spectacle after a shooting". Our media society is wearing on me. I can't explain quite what it is, but it's making me feel less human. So much of it is false that I can't even identify anymore because it's been shoved down my throat. I just have instant gag response.
Look, I'm drained today. I feel like I've given all I can and it not only isn't properly used and distributed, but it isn't enough and everyone only wants more when you are generous.
Every time I DO give I get a million requests to give again, that's why I pick a few charities and do it that way. It's like making yourself a target. You can't just be a good person and do what you can anymore. It isn't good enough. You have to be Oprah good, that level of rich and caring and powerful and always "aware" and a "good citizen". Well, whatever. Check me off as fail. I'm done playing.
Well, truth is, most people don't realize how screwed they are without insurance, and they think they can't afford it. If you can't afford "insurance" you sure can't afford to not have it.
It does make me sad that kids and people who can't help themselves are the ones who suffer the most, like old people on a fixed income with costs go up.
I work for a non-profit so I am hypersensitive to the issue of overhead. We operate on a MAXIMUM of 20% overhead, and that's only in the bad years that we don't hit our projected income goals. Most years it's probalby closer to 15%. That means 80-85% of donations we receive go DIRECTLY to conservation projects. Not to business lunches or company cars, directly towards the goal at hand. And that, I feel, is saying something.
I always ask for the overhead figures when considering a charitable donation, and I donate annually to a select few causes that I really believe in (like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, for example). Some I will NEVER donate to because of their numbers or past performance (like the Red Cross). I think by making informed choices I am able to feel less guilty about not donating to every cause which, much as I would like to, I simply can't afford.
I research like crazy about the non-profits I support. I was tricked into donating to the Red Cross and the stalker group known as Habitat for Humanity who called me repeatedly after I asked them to stop. No likey those charities anymore.
Anyhow, most non-profits do awesome work, and with very little, so I'm not dogging them in general, just the Red Cross which really needs to improve and H4H which I think needs to change it's fundraising stiffarm treatment.
You know, I find the more I give, the more address labels I get in the mail of some other charity that needs donations. Its a big pain in the butt all the junk mail that I have to recycle.
I am from New Orleans, so anything that happens there is always on my mind. For Katrina, I sent money to personal friends who lost everything, I didn't donate to an organization.
So I totally understand what you are saying!
I got so frustrated BOTH times I gave during disasters and I felt they didn't do the right thing with the funds and help people as they were supposed to.
I agree, give what you can, do what you can, but don't feel guilty about what you can't give.
I need to keep that in mind. I did give this year, and instead of focusing on the negative I should feel proud of the good that I did. I made the top 200 individual contributors to the MS Society in the state this year! That's a pretty awesome accomplishment during such a rough year.