I’m in the middle of packing/moving and everything, but there is something on my mind.
I’m one of those people who, for the most part, believe that online fundraising can be a really great tool to raise money and awareness of diseases, disabilities, etc. It can help people recover after unexpected accidents, especially when, in the USA, medical expenses are so incredibly high. There’s a huge problem when you have to rely on online donations just to get the care and treatment you require to overcome any health issue, but that’s not something that the USA will understand. But that’s not the point of this post.
There are certain situations where online fundraising drives me crazy. I’ve talked about the time when a friend who didn’t speak with me for years wanted $500 for her son’s birthday party. If you read through that, you’ll know exactly how I feel. Basically, I say that paying utilities and such would be a better use of money. In that situation, you work within your means. As long as you do something, it’s not going to be overly traumatic for your kid(s).
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting requests like crazy. A lot of it is because Facebook (which I very reluctantly use) wants to attach a fundraiser to every birthday. Yeah, that’s a really great thing to do and if you can, you should (or could). No one should make you feel guilty that you didn’t or don’t want to. (Some people have actually tried this on me.)
Here’s my problem:
There are situations where I do want to help people out. I’ll admit, sometimes I do (for example, my cousin was hit by an intoxicated driver, so I sent over some cash). Where the problem lies is that I am working with and earn Australian dollars (AUD). For every $1 AUD, it is worth $0.70 US dollar (USD). Because I have to pay in USD, $100 ends up turning into $130 AUD. Then I end up having to pay more fees on top of that from the fundraising platform AND then even more fees from my bank. I end up paying a lot more for things that are based in the USA, so I choose to do so rarely.
So, now to the point, another friend who hasn’t spoken to me since I was around 17 or 18 keeps sending me a request to donate to something that I think is insanely stupid. Without saying too much, he’s had a falling out with his wife and she moved a few states over. I’m not sure why it happened, but it did. He’s been posting some pretty worrying things over the past two weeks or so and I don’t blame him. I’d be upset too if my husband had to move back to India and was okay with it because he didn’t want to be around me. Now, here’s the silly part. He wanted people to donate to a fund to get him an RV camper so he could move to the state where she is. (He’s also posting old wedding photos of the both of them and putting them as his profile picture, so that in itself is a bit worrying.) They have kids together so I can understand that he wants to be closer. I would want to do that too. To me, it’s a little bit too unhealthy. No one’s donated though and that’s probably why. The reason I don’t is because I don’t want to pay out the nose to send a small amount and also I don’t think they have the most healthy relationship right now. I don’t know anything, but yeah, it happened for a reason. And this isn’t like a 1 hour drive distance, it’s like a 12 hour drive…. at LEAST! I find it incredible that he’s taking this approach rather than bettering himself so that maybe, just maybe, his wife and he can patch things up or whatever.
Let me get this straight though, I do give to just causes and what I consider as a just cause will differ from everybody else. My cousin’s medical expenses? A just cause to donate. An RV so someone can potentially stalk their wife that they’ve separated from? Eh, no thanks.
People just need to really think these things through before they make an online fundraiser for it. Sadly, they don’t and they end up getting themselves down when they can’t raise $20 of the $27,990 they need. Someone suggested that I make a fundraiser to fly my mom here, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Honestly, I’d rather someone donate to Immigration Equality or to Parkinson’s Australia and pay for her stuff myself since I am fully capable of working and saving money.
That’s all–not worth saving for a podcast episode. Not entirely sure when the next one will be at the moment. 😉 Hope all is well.