Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Day 5: Help the 5th Graders Get to Six Flags
30 Days 30 Causes 30 Dollars blog entry, each day I donate $1 to a cause. Today I didn't have to go looking for my Day 5 $1 donation opportunity. It had been posted by a Facebook friend: Help the 5th Graders Get to Six Flags.
A group of disadvantaged students were promised a trip if certain conditions were met, but then for some reason, they were told that it would not happen.
Their teacher is seeking $3,000 to make that happen.
When I first saw the posting I reached out to the poster to find out if the campaign was legit. Did she know the person? I never heard back. I could have made more of an effort to find out, but quite frankly, I decided it wasn't worth it. And then I got to thinking about the many scams out there and how people are reluctant to give if they don't know the person.
In some ways I understand. At the same time, it is making us so guarded that we don't even want to give to those who are in genuine need. I have gone out of my way to be open and honest here about my situation because I thought it would help. But, quite frankly, I am not sure that it has. In addition, the donation sites often tell you to give only to those you know. I can understand why, sort of.
But think about this: If you "just" give a $1 you aren't risking much if you don't know if it is true or not. You have likely wasted a lot more money on other things that didn't have the potential to help someone.
In addition, you can do what you can to try to tell if something is legit, or not. Of course, unless you have proof of a situation, there is no way to be sure. But if you see a number of people giving money, the hope is that it is legitimate. You could always reach out and ask for more information. More than once I have offered to show records, and would go as far as necessary to prove something if I had a reason to.
Lastly, if someone is indeed scamming, it is very possible that they truly do have a need of some sort, but just aren't going about taking care of it in the healthiest or best way. It is one humane way to look at it. Of course, I understand one doesn't want to give their hard earned money away just like that. But if we use a combination of our gut and heart and head, we will have the best shot of doing something worthwhile for both us and the person we affect.
I think it is likely better to take a $1 risk on something you don't know for certain (if it speaks to you in some way) than to do nothing at all because I think the overall risk to a society who doesn't help out its members is greater than the one that seeks to, and does.
If you know of any people in need, please let me know. I will be posting about them here as well as at DollarDifference.com.
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