Author Topic: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?  (Read 12979 times)

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learningtofly

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #45 on: August 02, 2012, 03:02:00 PM »
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.

There are thousands and thousands of children (and adults) right here who desperately need help. I'm not saying children in Africa don't need the assistance. Of course they do, that's why there are many many agencies who are tirelessly working there, whom you can donate to and make a difference, however small. Is there a reason they don't they want to do any charity work here (home country)? Charity begins at home right?

This is why I don't donate.  We have friends who are going to live in another country in a few years and do good works.  They want help with the flight.  But I can't help feeling is that part of it is that they want to live in another country for a few years but couldn't afford the move on their own.  We have plenty of areas in this country that would love them to move to their community and help for a few years.  Our own country was never on their radar.  My money goes to help charities in my community.  And while we do toy drives during the holidays, we do back to school drives so every child can have a notebook, pencil, and backpack.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #46 on: August 02, 2012, 03:07:37 PM »
The only time I would give money for a flight/move is if there was extenuating circumstances.

When I was in high school, a good friend of mine's father passed away.  Her parents had originally immigrated to Canada when she was a baby and all her Mom's family was still back home.  Her Mom hadn't been working and had minimal skills to fall back on and made the very painful decision to move back home with her three daughters, so she could have family support.  The community asked for donations to help with the move and my parents donated.  I would donate in the same situation.
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MacadamiaNut

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #47 on: August 02, 2012, 03:35:34 PM »
The only time I would give money for a flight/move is if there was extenuating circumstances.

When I was in high school, a good friend of mine's father passed away.  Her parents had originally immigrated to Canada when she was a baby and all her Mom's family was still back home.  Her Mom hadn't been working and had minimal skills to fall back on and made the very painful decision to move back home with her three daughters, so she could have family support.  The community asked for donations to help with the move and my parents donated.  I would donate in the same situation.

Such a heartbreaking story :'(.  I hope your friend and her family are prospering back home.  I would donate in a situation like that too.  The big difference in reasoning being that my money is going directly to the people who need the help. 
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #48 on: August 02, 2012, 03:44:29 PM »
They did, as far as I know.  I lost touch with them when they moved.  And it was a long time ago - almost 30 years!  (When did I get to be so old?!?!?)
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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MacadamiaNut

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #49 on: August 02, 2012, 03:53:51 PM »
They did, as far as I know.  I lost touch with them when they moved.  And it was a long time ago - almost 30 years!  (When did I get to be so old?!?!?)

LOL, same here.  It seemed it used to be a big thing to say I've known someone for ten years even.  Nowadays, that's nothing! ;D
Paperweights, for instance - has anyone ever established what, when, and why
paper has to be weighed down? ::) ~Don Aslett

artk2002

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2012, 03:18:43 PM »
I have no problem donating to support a charity; I wouldn't refuse simply because someone I know is getting some personal benefit on the side. I find the underlying attitude that someone can't get a personal benefit from doing charity work to be very unkind. Everyone who does charity work should get some benefit from it, and getting to travel to an exotic place is no more nor less noble than doing it simply because it feels good or it's the "right thing" to do. I'm assuming, of course, that they're actually going to do some kind of charity work while there and it's not purely a pleasure junket. I just won't begrudge someone getting personal benefit from it.

I work with an organization that takes disadvantaged kids out in tall ships. Should I decline to do this simply because I enjoy sailing? Even more importantly, should our donors stop giving money simply because the volunteers enjoy the sailing in and of itself? Are they paying for my life choice or are they donating to a worthy cause that happens to give me some personal benefit as well? Should the fact that they know me personally (and know that I get this benefit) affect their choice?

Edit to add: I regard giving someone money directly to go do charity work to be the same as giving that money to the charity for someone else to do the work. Someone is going to go and do the work and it's quite possible that if the person doesn't provide their own money, the charity will foot the bill. Would those of you who object to giving money directly to someone in this circumstance feel better if you donated to the charity and they paid for the flight/move? If so, how is it different?
« Last Edit: August 04, 2012, 03:21:18 PM by artk2002 »
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

buvezdevin

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2012, 04:53:48 PM »
Artk2002, I would hope, as does the OP in one of her posts, that anyone doing volunteer or charity work would enjoy the experience.  The question for me is whether the "charitable" intent and likely result/benefit to the charitable objectives drive the dispersal of donated funds, or is that secondary to a solely personal interest of an individual seeking contributions.

So, re volunteer sailing activities, while anyone may volunteer primarily for the enjoyment of sailing, if their participation enables disadvantaged children to enjoy the shared experience - wonderful.

But, if an individual asked others for contributions to purchase a sailboat, without doing so as or through a formally organized charity, and said they would periodically take disadvantaged children out for sailing - that person might mean well, but would be asking for others to fund a personal investment which would be of incidental, but not primarily for charitable use/benefit.

The friend of OP is asking others to fund an expensive trip, and while good may come of that trip, it seems the personal desire of the person to undertake this travel, though unable to fund it fully themself, is a factor, and the likely charitable benefits, lacking any detailed plan or accountability, remain questionable.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2012, 05:19:48 PM »
^ That's a really good analogy.

If I didn't enjoy a particular activity, I certainly wouldn't take a volunteer position involving that activity!

I enjoy gardening.  I might like to join a community garden organization that plants gardens to supply food to the local food bank.  I would ask friends and family to donate to the organization, if they wished to.  But I wouldn't ask them to donate to me to buy my gloves and tools.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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Acadianna

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2012, 12:46:32 AM »
I work with an organization that takes disadvantaged kids out in tall ships. Should I decline to do this simply because I enjoy sailing? Even more importantly, should our donors stop giving money simply because the volunteers enjoy the sailing in and of itself?

In your case, it sounds like donations go directly to the organization, which uses them specifically to benefit the children.  The funds are not used primarily for the recreational/social benefit of the organizations members, even if some of the money is used for upkeep of the ships (which still benefits the children).  I'd have no qualms about donating for such a purpose.

In the case of the ladies going to Africa, my question would be, how much of the donation is simply to pay for a vacation and how much for charitable activity?  For example, if the ladies go to Africa, spend a couple of hours delivering toys to an orphanage, and then spend two weeks touring -- no, I wouldn't be inclined to donate, as that's really just a vacation.  On the other hand, if they'll be working at the orphanage for a normal work week with touring on weekends, then the donation could be considered as truly supporting a charitable endeavor rather than a mere vacation.

Sharnita

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2012, 09:54:42 AM »
I work with an organization that takes disadvantaged kids out in tall ships. Should I decline to do this simply because I enjoy sailing? Even more importantly, should our donors stop giving money simply because the volunteers enjoy the sailing in and of itself?

In your case, it sounds like donations go directly to the organization, which uses them specifically to benefit the children.  The funds are not used primarily for the recreational/social benefit of the organizations members, even if some of the money is used for upkeep of the ships (which still benefits the children).  I'd have no qualms about donating for such a purpose.

In the case of the ladies going to Africa, my question would be, how much of the donation is simply to pay for a vacation and how much for charitable activity?  For example, if the ladies go to Africa, spend a couple of hours delivering toys to an orphanage, and then spend two weeks touring -- no, I wouldn't be inclined to donate, as that's really just a vacation.  On the other hand, if they'll be working at the orphanage for a normal work week with touring on weekends, then the donation could be considered as truly supporting a charitable endeavor rather than a mere vacation.

I think an established organization offers built in accountability.  There doesn't seem to be that here and even the most well intentioned person might find it hard to be as strict s they wold if there was oversight of all their time and money.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2012, 10:10:40 AM »
I kind of look at this the same way I look at lending money.

If were going to loan money to someone, I wouldn't just give them the money.  I would go with them to the bank and pay their credit card directly or go with them to the car repair shop and pay the bill.

So I would give money to the volunteer organization but not directly to the individual.  Plus, if I'm donating money, call me selfish but I want the tax receipt for it.  Donating directly to an individual would not give me that; donating to the organization would.

There have been a few well publicized cases lately about people faking that they have cancer and collecting donations.  It has just confirmed my stance to only donate to credible organizations, not to individuals.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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blarg314

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2012, 10:03:10 PM »

There are some good points about individuals vs organizations.

An organization has accountability, to its donors, to its board, and to the government, and there are records of where it spends the money, and so on. Individuals don't.

Doing something you enjoy for charity makes sense - you're going to get a lot more volunteers, and more committed ones, than trying to get people to do things they dislike. But there can be a fine line between doing something you like to primarily benefit others, and doing something you like to primarily benefit yourself. Going sailing with disadvantaged kids is great. Asking people to donate money to buy you a boat so you can take kids sailing isn't.

The issue of international vacation as aid is a tricky one. When it comes down to it, no, I'm not going to fund someone to go to Exotic Country for their vacation to build a school or something like that.  Exotic Country is full of people who already know how to build schools - what they need is the resources to do so, and the money to fund teachers and supplies, and helping support the families so the kids can afford to go to school instead of working to feed their families.

If you're a trained teacher,  and have gotten appropriate orientation for the country you are going to (and speak the local language) and are going to Exotic Country for a few years as a teacher in a disadvantaged area, with an established program, now I'm going to be a lot more supportive.  Or, for that matter, if you're fundraising for a reputable charity that provides supplies and helps pay for infrastructure for those schools.

Amara

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2012, 11:30:20 PM »
If they really want to do "good" in Africa, or anywhere else in the world, they should join the Peace Corps. Not only won't they have to put out any money, they will get paid. Here are the benefits:

Student loan assistance
A "readjustmentÓ" allowance of $7,425 (pre-tax) upon completion of service
Language, cross-cultural, and technical training
Travel to and from country of service
A monthly living and housing allowance
Full medical and dental coverage
48 paid vacation days
Unique graduate school opportunities
Leave for family emergencies
Transition and job support and social networking after service
Advantages in federal employment
Opportunities for short-term assignments through Peace Corps Response
No fee to participate

Winterlight

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #58 on: August 06, 2012, 09:04:32 AM »
Unfortunately Ceallach is Australian and you must be a US citizen to join the Peace Corps.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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Amara

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Re: Charity or "pay for my life choices"?
« Reply #59 on: August 06, 2012, 03:50:01 PM »
I didn't know she was Australian. Thanks for the information.