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Charitable Giving Online

Written By: Jesse S. Somer

On-line charities are a perfect place to see how people help the world, and inspire you to join a good cause.

It isn’t hard to see that a lot of people, animals, and the environment in general are being neglected in our world today. That’s not to say that a lot of things haven’t been improved over time as well. As I come from one of the few wealthy nations, I can witness daily both the extravagances of greed and the injustice of poverty, although of course the amount of poverty in my country is far less than in so-called third-world or developing countries. If we watch the News (I try not to as it often effects my mood in a detrimental way) we can also see all kinds of issues relating to the sustainability of our planet and its natural creatures that live in our interconnected space. However, we often seem to be separating ourselves from the Nature that actually provides us with all the elements we need to survive in the present and in the future.

There are differing opinions on how we as developed countries can help the rest of humanity to move forward. Some more ‘primitive’ societies might argue that they don’t need our help or want our type of modern lifestyle anyway. In Bhutan instead of GDP they have GDH or Gross Domestic Happiness. In thinking that happiness is more important than money maybe we really don’t have too much to give or teach these people. Bhutan is a minority however and the truth is that many countries could do with our support both in terms of finance and in the sharing of skills and knowledge.

Many people don’t seem to believe in giving to charities or non-profit organizations. I read recently in an Oxfam International article that of the 22 rich countries who promised a mere 0.7% of their GDP, only five have come through with the goods. It’s also the documented case that most of the charity given in the world is by individuals, and not the rich ones like you’d think, a huge proportion of America’s charity is given by people in the lower income brackets. This may be because they can emphasize with the marginalized as they too know what it is like to have little. It may also be the case that they are also happier with what they have as opposed to the often-obsessive consumer who always feels that they haven’t got enough and need more material possessions.

A friend of mine says that the way to help others isn’t by giving aid but by going and helping to build infrastructure and to change belief systems about economics and progress. The hard thing for most of us is we don’t see a means to implement these changes. I can definitely see where monetary aid can be of great help, especially when people have to live in tragic circumstances as in the recent Tsunami in Southeast Asia. Sometimes people simply need shelter, food, water, clothes, blankets and medicine to survive and thankfully there are several organizations whose sole purpose is to fulfill this need. Even with their help, around 30,000 children still die everyday in our world. If we all gave just a couple of dollars a day that we usually spend on chocolate or coffee much of this poverty could be alleviated.

I work as an Internet writer so I’ve been checking out some of the charities on-line. Giving is so easy these days, just a push of some buttons on your computer and you could make a positive change to the world, no matter how small the change, all actions in life have their reactions and repercussions. Check out Oxfam International, Plan International, World Wildlife Foundation, Red Cross, Unicef, Care International, World Vision, and Greenpeace just to name a few. You can also look up smaller organizations that work in your local area. A lot of the web sites are very well constructed and you can read all about their campaigns, policies, how to donate, and even how to get involved yourself if you really want to be proactive as a volunteer.

The Oxfam International site is really interesting especially if you are one of the skeptics who don’t believe that the money actually goes where it is meant to after being filtered by administration etc. They give annual reports, strategic plans, mission and vision statements etc. so we can know exactly what they are doing. I can’t say the same for all charities that exist, so do your research.

The World Wildlife Foundation also has a very professional website with a multitude of information in the form of News articles and interesting facts. There are many cool photos of Nature and unfortunately of the misuse of it by humanity. Like the Oxfam site you can subscribe for a free monthly newsletter to see what new causes and case studies are on the agenda. Reading these can make you a little sad but there is usually at least an equal amount of positive stories about progress from the hard work done. I like reading these newsletters more than current affairs articles that usually have only a couple ‘happy’ stories that are often just silly and irrelevant (though I do think having a laugh after all the death and chaos is better than nothing).

So check out some of these sites, they may help to redeem your faith in humanity as well as remind you of the bigger picture that you are part of. In seeing the wider perspective you may just realize that you can make a difference.

About the Author

Jesse S. Somer
M6.Net
http://www.m6.net
Jesse S. Somer is a firm believer that a butterfly flapping its wings in Jamaica can cause a storm in India. Every action has its reaction no matter how small, so it may be time to give a hand and we’ll see what comes of our generosity.

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