How many charities are there in your hometown? How many non-profit organisations are there? One, ten, fifty…? I’ll tell you how many there are right here in the Helderberg area / Cape Town where I live. Too many. Too damn many.
Now don’t get me wrong. My heart isn’t made of stone – FAR from it, and I’m not saying that running a charity or a non-profit organisation to help other people or animals is a bad thing.
I think that the majority of these people have hearts of gold and really care about making a difference in the world, and well done to them for getting started and actually DOING something CONTINUOUSLY.
Earlier this week I came across a post on Facebook from someone (let’s call him Jim) asking everyone to check out his new website of a charity he’d just started. I went to check out this website. It’s cute. It’s catchy. And that’s about where it ends. I think it’s awesome that Jim wants to help people in need – I’m not taking that away from him. But, come on! How many charities are there that already need help?!
Too many, too bloody many…
So that’s problem number one. The other issue I have is that the homepage focuses more on what Jim has done in his career and how wonderful of a person he is. In my opinion, the focus of a charity is NOT supposed to be on the founder, but on the charity itself. If it’s new, then list what the aims and goals are, etc. Jim should have just left a small sentence or two about himself on the contact page or at the end of the about us page.
How do you decide which charity or non-profit is going to get your donation or time?
That’s MY problem. There are so many in desperate need of help – I wish I could help them all. And not just as a once-off to make myself look good. Don’t even get me started on the self-righteousness of some people and companies on Mandela Day earlier this month. Fantastic that they made the effort to help for one day and get photos snapped of themselves making sandwiches for starving children.
What about those other 364 days of the year? I’d love to know how many of those people or celebrities are going to be doing things to help on a regular basis and not just when the cameras are around or when their companies get mentioned.
Yes, at least Jim and other people are helping – that’s a good thing. But, instead of opening a brand new charity when there are already too many around, why not actively support one, two, or even a few instead?
Do you support any charities or non-profits?
If you’d like to get involved, these are just a few efforts and places I’ve come across in the last year that would love the extra support:
I found another website here which lists all the charities in South Africa. I counted 150 in Cape Town alone. And that wasn’t even including Somerset West or any of the surrounding areas!
Maybe if more people pumped places and got their friends and family involved in trying to help and make a difference (that isn’t just once-off), there wouldn’t be this overflow of too many places that are in need of help.
Just a thought.
P.S If you were wondering what this post has to do with good health, here’s why: I believe from experience that doing something unselfish to help other people or animals is good for your health. It’s certainly made me feel good to give of myself without needing anything back. It might not seem like a lot to some people, but to that animal or person it’s the WORLD.
Image credits: njaj and winnond - freedigitalphotos.net, Melanie Chisnall