Author Topic: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?  (Read 12780 times)

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Iris

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2012, 03:18:24 AM »
I don't think you're being a grinch - or if you are, I'm one too. There are skilled people - doctors and other health professionals, engineers and other skilled tradespeople, educators etc whose actual, personal presence in a country is beneficial. If they are not bringing specific skills to the country then they'd probably do more good just donating the costs of their airfares to a registered orphanage. The airfare alone could probably pay the wages of extra staff for a while.

In other words, good for them that they are chasing this probably very fulfilling experience, but I would spend my charity dollars elsewhere.
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cicero

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2012, 05:19:53 AM »
Of course these girls have great intentions, nobody is denying that. But because they're not affiliated with any charity group, I see this more as a "life experience" (albeit for a good cause) for them, and as such, they should fund it themselves.

i agree with this. and while i tend to not donate to large organizations (for my own reasons), when people are going out in the world to "do good in Africa", i would probably feel better if they were affiliate with some organization. Let's say they "feel" it would be great to donate purple cats to the children of africa. so your donated money would go to buy purple cats. and when they bring the cats to that group of children, it turns out that there is some social/cultural/medical reason that this is a very.bad.idea. but they alreayd used the money. and had they worked through an established organization, they would have been told "hey, purple cats won't work here, but pencils are a great idea". or maybe there are organization that already set up some kind of air miles donation campaign that sends volunteers to africa and they don't even need the money for that.

I am a big fan of giving "things" rather

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Penguin_ar

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2012, 06:58:57 AM »
I agree with what others have said.  Not sure this trip is well thought out: have they even said which orphanage they will go to, and what exactly they will do there?   I can't imagine they can just knock on the door of the first orphanage they find and be welcomed with open arms...

What I have done in the past is asked a friend who was going to Burma to email me when they get there with what is needed, and I would have it shipped. And a good thing it was too, because it turns out the children's home they were placed in was for older kids, 7 and up, so baby toys would have been useless.

JenJay

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #18 on: July 30, 2012, 09:25:28 AM »
I agree with what others have said.  Not sure this trip is well thought out: have they even said which orphanage they will go to, and what exactly they will do there?   I can't imagine they can just knock on the door of the first orphanage they find and be welcomed with open arms...

What I have done in the past is asked a friend who was going to Burma to email me when they get there with what is needed, and I would have it shipped. And a good thing it was too, because it turns out the children's home they were placed in was for older kids, 7 and up, so baby toys would have been useless.

That's an awesome idea! I'm going to remember that.  :)

Twik

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #19 on: July 30, 2012, 09:30:42 AM »
What would turn me off the most here is that it appears the request is "donate for our travel costs. Oh, and what's left over will go to supplies."

This is not a mission of mercy. This is about how to pay for another trip to Africa, with a gloss of "doing good works".
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Knitterly

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2012, 09:50:59 AM »
Like others, I don't think they have thought this trip through.

The thing with going somewhere like Africa with an organization is that the organization has done all the legwork in advance to make the appropriate connections with all the appropriate people.  Just packing up and going somewhere in Africa (also, where in Africa are they going?  saying you're going to Africa is like saying you're going to Europe - it's a continent, not a country) may not be the safest thing for them to simply decide to do on their own. 

I would be very hesitant to support a trip like this that isn't working through a registered charity. 

Also, although this may not factor into it for everyone, they cannot give you a charitable donation tax receipt like a registered charity can.

something.new.every.day

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #21 on: July 30, 2012, 10:43:28 AM »
It frightens me that they have to beg for money for a flight.  For a trip like this they should have substantial savings and a plan.  What happens when they get there with the ticket they scraped and begged to buy and two months later their is a family emergency?  They won't be able to afford to make a quick trip home if needed.  What happens if they work for awhile and then the orphanage leadership tells them it's not working out?  They would then need money for traveling to the airport, perhaps a hotel night or two, and a flight back.  Or all goes well, they work for a year and come back to find a job in the US--they would need savings to get back on their feet. 

This just doesn't sound very well planned.   

O'Dell

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2012, 11:09:06 AM »
So I just feel as though I'm being asked to fund a life choice / trip of a lifetime for them.

But aren't you really doing the same thing for a person that works for a charity/non-profit? In my humble opinion, everyone does nice things for self-gratification. People working for those organizations also chose a lifestyle of helping others because it makes them feel good in some way. Even you, Ceallach, would like to do something like they plan and I'll wager that on some level it's because you will feel good about working to help others. The only real difference I see between giving to an NGO is the efficiency with which they use the funds (and some accountability as who knows what your FB friends are doing with the funds they collect!).

For sure I wouldn't give money in a case like this. I might, if it were a good friend, start asking thoughtful questions about their plans.

And a quote to help support my view: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
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Morty'sCleaningLady

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2012, 11:10:00 AM »
I'm going to sound terrible here, but when I donate I like to be able to take the tax credit for the donation.  These girls are simply taking money from people without a 501(c)3  so no one donating is getting the bonus of a tax credit.  I'd rather donate to where they will be assisting, such as the orphanage or hospital.
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Twik

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2012, 11:29:52 AM »
So I just feel as though I'm being asked to fund a life choice / trip of a lifetime for them.

But aren't you really doing the same thing for a person that works for a charity/non-profit?


I don't think it's the same thing at all. Someone who works for a charity in Africa is part of an organization that has (we hope) a plan, is responsible for using its funds appropriately, and usually benefits from "economy of scale". It's a lot more cost-effective for a charitable organization to buy containerloads of medicines directly from the manufacturer, and send it to people they know can use it, than it is for someone to show up with a suitcase of stuff they pulled off a drugstore shelf, and spent seveal thousand dollars to take to Africa, not even knowing who to give it to or whether something else is in greater demand.

Quote
And a quote to help support my view: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Dalai Lama


It's not compassion to do things for your own satisfaction, disregarding whether it's any practical use to anyone else. In the case above, if they can deliver 100 boxes of medicine by donating the money to a legitimate aid organization, but only one box if they take it there directly, this is not really charity. It's "we want to go to Africa again, and we've got space for some stuff that might be useful to someone there." It's not a bad thing to do, but it's not something they should be fundraising for, when most of the money is going to their travel costs, not the actual aid they're giving.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

O'Dell

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2012, 02:12:21 PM »
So I just feel as though I'm being asked to fund a life choice / trip of a lifetime for them.

But aren't you really doing the same thing for a person that works for a charity/non-profit?


I don't think it's the same thing at all. Someone who works for a charity in Africa is part of an organization that has (we hope) a plan, is responsible for using its funds appropriately, and usually benefits from "economy of scale". It's a lot more cost-effective for a charitable organization to buy containerloads of medicines directly from the manufacturer, and send it to people they know can use it, than it is for someone to show up with a suitcase of stuff they pulled off a drugstore shelf, and spent seveal thousand dollars to take to Africa, not even knowing who to give it to or whether something else is in greater demand.

Quote
And a quote to help support my view: If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
Dalai Lama


It's not compassion to do things for your own satisfaction, disregarding whether it's any practical use to anyone else. In the case above, if they can deliver 100 boxes of medicine by donating the money to a legitimate aid organization, but only one box if they take it there directly, this is not really charity. It's "we want to go to Africa again, and we've got space for some stuff that might be useful to someone there." It's not a bad thing to do, but it's not something they should be fundraising for, when most of the money is going to their travel costs, not the actual aid they're giving.

Why cherry pick my post? I made some of the same points in my post. I also said I for sure wouldn't give them money.

My point is that the people who make the effort to help are choosing that lifestyle. Whether they are working for an organization that runs on donation or if an individual solicits donations and goes on their own, their lifestyle choice is being supported by donations.
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RegionMom

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #26 on: July 30, 2012, 02:46:27 PM »
POD to Knitterly.

There are already groups that have paved the way, and can get group rates and safe housing, tax write-offs for donations, and for all the skilled workers they have, also needed are the grunt laborers to do paper work, child care, painting, cleaning, organizing stuff, etc...

These two can offer their services to those that have gone on before them. 

I also, would not donate money, but perhaps supplies?  Or find out where they want to go, and send a donation to that place.   8)
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mrs_deb

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #27 on: July 30, 2012, 02:52:17 PM »
A year plus ago I had an acquaintance do something similar.  She signed up to go to Africa with a charity group, which I thought was great, but then spent the next six months begging for $5000 in order to do it.  Constantly.  Every day I got an email or a Facebook invitation to give her money because she had no way to pay for it and she just HAD to go because it was so worthwhile.

And I mean she wanted money for EVERYTHING from travel expenses to living expenses to insurance to medical preparation, but seriously the last straw was she also wanted money to pay for a splendid little vacation safari at the end of her stint.


Outdoor Girl

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #28 on: July 30, 2012, 02:59:02 PM »
I'm going to sound terrible here, but when I donate I like to be able to take the tax credit for the donation.  These girls are simply taking money from people without a 501(c)3  so no one donating is getting the bonus of a tax credit.  I'd rather donate to where they will be assisting, such as the orphanage or hospital.

Doesn't sound terrible at all.  I never donate to anything where I don't get a tax receipt any more.  I used to feel guilty but I learned to get over that when I realized the store asking for $2 towards latest cause would use MY money to get a tax receipt for themselves.

I think Ecotourism and Voluntourism are great ideas.  If you want to do it for your own satisfaction and the chance to help people or the environment, by all means.  But don't ask anyone else to fund it for you.  If you want my money for your trip then you are going to have to do something for me.  I'd gladly pay you to clean my house, wash and detail my car, weed and water my garden, etc. but I'm not just going to hand money over to you.
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Ceallach

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #29 on: July 30, 2012, 06:43:04 PM »
I agree with what others have said.  Not sure this trip is well thought out: have they even said which orphanage they will go to, and what exactly they will do there?   I can't imagine they can just knock on the door of the first orphanage they find and be welcomed with open arms...

What I have done in the past is asked a friend who was going to Burma to email me when they get there with what is needed, and I would have it shipped. And a good thing it was too, because it turns out the children's home they were placed in was for older kids, 7 and up, so baby toys would have been useless.

No they haven't said which it is, but I assume it's somewhere she came across on her last trip there.   She did give some specific details about the type of children who are there so I'm fairly certain it's a specific place she has in mind. 
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