Cracked.com‘s 5 Popular Forms of Charity (That Aren’t Helping) is something I’ve been longing to find for a very, very long time. These are things I’ve been struggling to share recently because I haven’t been able to put them in quite the right words. Not only does Cracked hit many important points that need to be understood by all developed countries, but it shares this piece of important information in a humorous and jargon free way. This is especially great because the people who really need to hear it aren’t the people who regularly check out Amnesty.com but visit sites like Facebook and Twitter where the common misconception of posting a status about the colour of your bra is making world-wide change (see point number 1 in the article).
I’ve tried to pick out one or two points that I think are really key, important facts to share. But I just can’t do it. Partaking in any of the five do drive me a little insane. Even though I am guilty of some myself. I think it was around the time of the tsunami in Japan where I really realized how big of a problem charity can cause. For this reason, I’ve decided to specifically share this section of the article:
Take the earthquake that struck Japan in 2011. While it was truly an awful tragedy, Japan is a wealthy country that is extremely well-versed in recovering from whatever geography throws at it. However, due to the dramatic nature of the disaster, the outpouring of aid from around the world was so amazing that Japan got way more than it needed. And thanks to earmarking, instead of using the surplus donations to help other countries in need or prepare for the next disaster, charities were stuck spending it in the Land of the Rising Sun … despite the fact that Japan stated multiple times that they didn’t need or even want our help.
I understand how disasters stir the desire to do some good in people. But what we really need to realize is there are disasters all over the world every day, from Africa to here at home. Every day disasters like poverty or slave labour or child labour or domestic violence or malaria or the slow loss of our democratic process in Ottawa.
My whole point is, if you’re going to donate and give back, make sure you are doing actual good with your effort. Take the time to think, research and understand the real needs. Please do it right.
And don’t buy Tom’s Shoes.