In so many ways, I’m a super modern chick. See? I even referred to myself as a chick. But, there are a few things about our modern ways I just don’t get; snapchat, Tinder, and crowd funding being some of them.
As a social worker, I’ve literally begged for money for my work, and of course, I’ve applied for countless funding applications and programs. And then of course, begged again.
So with the recent trend of people heading to social media to request money from people they’ve never met for any number of things, I immediately got my back up. For one thing, people donating to private individuals have no idea where that money is going, but more importantly, it’s taking away money from organizations and people who really need it.
I get the fun of it, “Look! I donated to a dude who wants to make potato salad!” Hilarious, except that guy ended up with thousands of dollars, and those people who made the donations are less likely to donate elsewhere, feeling that they’ve already contributed to something.
But now, things have really gone crazy. I’ve been sent funding campaigns for people raising their kids. I don’t mean campaigns for children with specific needs or to fill a hole like a plane ticket to receive treatment, I mean just for the every day costs of kids.
The rationale on people’s campaigns? Kids are expensive. No shit! So, kids are expensive and you’ve decided that you would hit up other parents for money?! I can barely keep up with my own kids’ financial needs let alone anyone else’s. Right now I’m in the process of applying for help with Ella, because I can’t afford the equipment she needs, but I would never imagine asking my friends to chip in for diapers or groceries because they have their own bills to pay, own kids to raise. Furthermore, I would never want to put anyone in an awkward situation where they feel like they HAVE to donate, which literally takes the entire point away.
I really understand needing help – emotionally, physically, financially – and I get how hard it can be to ask for it, how defeating it feels to apply for subsidized programs or services, to turn to a food bank. But, I often find these mass appeals lack the heart, the love, I know so well from my work; the appeals to help a client. Instead, I get the feeling of more of a handout.
My biggest fear is that we will be so inundated with requests for money that we will become blasé; refusing to donate to anyone or anything, and then, it won’t be the potato salad makers who are losing out.