I am not generally a charitable person, in the strictest sense of the world. I don't make a whole lot of cash donations to charitable organizations. I know, I know. But I'm a woman on a budget, plus I'm kind of a misanthrope who questions if my charitable donations are really going to someone who needs it. I never said I was a good person.
Today I read a letter that first made me laugh, in that horrible 'Oh my god, I shouldn't be laughing at this' kind of way. It was a letter written to Jenny at The Bloggess from a woman named Ally, of Christchurch, New Zealand.
As you may already know, Christchurch was hit by one huge sumbitch of an earthquake on February 22, and Ally was writing in hopes that Jenny, in her vast interwebs popularity, would be willing to ask her readers to help the people of Christchurch in their time of need.
Read Her Letter Here. You Will Not Regret It.
It's okay. I'll wait.
... *twirls in chair* *tries to balance pen under nose* *picks at errant hangnail*
Oh, you're done? Good.
Now, if your reaction was anything like mine, you laughed then immediately went "Holy shit. We need to help these unfortunate fuckers STAT."
Did you? Cool. Go Help Them, then.
I think organizations like the Christian Children's Fund and the Humane Society could learn a lesson from Ally. Honesty is the best policy. Don't guilt people, don't fucking depress them.. because what happens then? People get depressed. They get overwhelmed, because they want to help ALL the starving children and ALL the abused kitties and puppies with their big sad eyes and distended bellies and flies on their faces.
Then what happens? Your average Joe or Josephine.. they feel bad. And resentful. Because You, Charitable Organization, have made them Feel Bad. And We Can't Help Everyone. And what do we do with unpleasant feelings? We tune them out. We change the channel when Sarah McLachlan starts singing ".. in the arrrmmmms offf annnn annnnngelllll" and the little puppies and/or African kids come on the screen.
And then No One gets help.
I love Ally's approach here. Honest, direct, and creative.. and effective.