Friday, March 28, 2008

Why I am Not a Fan of Charity

Tis that time of year when charities come out of the wood work to try to part you with your tax rebate in exchange for being part of some loosely defined movement known as a cause.

I am not against charities out right but I think they can harm society in immense ways. I think they can actually hold us back especially charities aimed at poverty. I can see charities aimed at illness since the expense of chronic illness is beyond the means of most people. Although I wonder if we took away the ability to through huge amounts of money at disease if we would see medical centers turn to a Wal-Mart approach to make money. Would we take care of our health better if we knew no one was there to bail us out? (I will save medical charities for another blog.)

Take this inventive charity for example: People donate used prom dresses to a charity that then furnished them to children who can not afford to buy nice dresses on their own but still "deserve" a "good" prom. I hated hearing about this Charity because I remember people who saved for prom all year, who bought dresses and it really hurt financially people who were in high school contributing members to their families bottom lines and still made it happen.

I wish I could do a control study over the next 20 years and take people who had income that is on par with each other and follow the person who took a charity dress and a person who didn't and see how they end up.

We have a problem with missing data we never see all of the great designers who could have existed if they faced this adversity and found strength to do something to change it.

People miss the chance of adversity to learn how to sow, design, come-up with creative alternatives. Tailors, Designers, Fashion Buyers, Seamstress wiped out by some do gooder on a mission to give people who deserve it a nice prom.

I am not saying we should not have social nets for society I am just saying that repeated handouts to everyone foster a culture with an air of entitlement, a culture that thinks they deserve something they didn't earn. People think being American give them a right to something.

They make you just comfortable enough not to try harder.

Adversity makes us who we are.

If live hands you lemons would you let them rot and become worthless because it didn't also give you a picture, sugar, a wooden stand, a sign and sell them for you?

Additional Items to Ponder:
1.) Do schools have a responsibility to make proms affordable?


Muffy Willowbrook said...

No, I don't think schools have the responsibility for affordable proms -however, I'm not sure who does.

I hate that proms have become so expensive. HOmecoming, too. It was much better in the late 80's, when I was in high school - the biggest worry was getting the night off from your part time job!

Savy said...

Actually, I DO think schools have a responsibility to make the prom affordable - the ACTUAL dance. Your outfit, your flowers, your dinner - your problem.

I think there is a deliberance in some schools to outprice the "lower classes" and it becomes even more a clique event (which I didn't think possible.) You are not a normal "citizen" in highschool. Going to school full time and then working makes you busier than most adults, and affordability is a major issue.

As far as the charities, honestly the disease ones annoy the hell out of me (I get calls all the time from the MS society, and my mother has MS.) But the one's kid oriented like the prom dress ones? I can see the point, and it's nice to see people recycle items they might have actually just thrown away too.

But I rarely give to charities. I check it out forwards and backwards, and it had better be helping someone who literally cannot otherwise help themselves (which is why I pick the kids ones mostly.)

Rocketstar said...

If one of a schools responsibilities is to make sure to include or create the opportunity for all students to participate in school activities, then yes they should try to make it affordable for all.

Bill From Gainesville said...

"Adversity makes us who we are:"
- I believe this whole heartedly. Also in the long view it really is only adversity while you are in it. Stuff you called adversity 10 years ago is all in the past... You have to look at the stuff you are going through now that same way. In the end it always works out.... and as far as Prom dresses, I remember always trying to get them OFF my date the back seat of a car

JLee said...

I am all for charity but get bombarded by calls to my home constantly because I have given to this or that in the past. When I try to decline from time to time, they get all pushy and rude with me. Then there's the fact that when you ask the percentage of what the actual charity gets, it's like 15 or 20 percent! I found some that actually give 100% of monies to the cause.

Brutus said...

I never went to prom. Nobody asked me. Well that one retarded kid did but I think he asked everybody.

Charity/welfare... I think they're the same and I'm against both. You give someone just enough to get by but not enough to break out of the cycle - so you are not helping the situation, only perpetuating it.

Reggie said...

Charity doesn't bother me as much as those who ring your bell and try to shove their religion down your throat.

Once we were having dinner at my parent's house when they showed up. While my mother answered the door with my then 6-or-so daughter at her side, I called loudly from the dining room. "Come on Honey, it is your turn to stand inside the pentagram." Oddly, they left without leaving the Watchtower behind...

Michelle said...

I spent last Saturday volunteering for a similar organization called the Princess Project here in the bay area. And I have to admit that it wasn't like any other organization that I've volunteered for.

I expected to see people who acted like this was their only way of getting a dress and going to prom. It was more like, "let's see if we can get anything good for free."

And the worst part was that there were two girls who couldn't find anything and treated the volunteers with such disrespect, it made me not want to volunteer for them anymore.

But there are girls out there that truly appreciate the help so they could use that saved money to pay for the for the prom ticket and hair and make up.