Listening to: The World

Reading: A Catalog from my favorite surf shop  and GoFundMe’s terms and Conditions

Writing About:  Charity, Integrity, Surfing

Friends, The Hour Has Come:

I am in need of your help.  Money, really.
I want some of your money.
So I made a GoFundMe account.
The account is real.
Your Generosity is real.
The story about the wetsuit is real.
Hypothermia is real.
The  Warm Heart / Cold Water Campaign is Real!

Generosity and Cynicism 

There is some serious cultural momentum behind Charitable Giving.
People want to give, and that is fantastic.

People also want to purchase things that matter,
or are marketed like they matter.
Again, also great.
(but less so, and in a more complicated way)

There is also some cultural pushback:
You may have seen
John Oliver’s brilliant critique of Tax Exempt Status
The mostly inaccurate email/FB post about Charity CEO salaries.

Which could have been fact checked by this super-helpful site

We have observed Shysters and Swindlers.
We have grown tired of Cause Related Marketing
And still, we want to give.
We want our money to make an actual difference

How then shall we proceed?

When you give, you aren’t just saying:
I care about kids, or hunger, or water, or cancer research, or whatever you give to.

You are also saying:
I think this person or organization is going to do this well.
I trust this person or corporation.
These dollars, which I earned, will help actually realize my good intentions.

Giving does something great for us (the giver)
Probably because we are built and designed by God to be generous;
to give, and share, and take care of each other.

But, it’s not enough to feel good about giving.
It’s also important that good things are actually happening because of our giving.

So Give generously,
Give because Giving is Good.

Also be smart, and be skeptical.
Give to things you know, and get to know what you give to.
Know what you care about, and give on purpose.
Start with your heart, then do just a little bit of footwork,
for the sake of your brain.

Err on the side of Grace,
Give Generously and Give on.
(you don’t want me to get killed by a freezing cold shark do you?)