Charities are a tough subject with me, truth be told. Many of the issues that concern me have few charities attached to them, and donating to small charities is often like tossing a penny in a well: good thoughts, empty ends. And the largest of charities have their bad histories, need I bring up the Red Cross? I have my biases as well, I think we all recall Hank's recent video on this. There are some concerns, such as illiteracy, which I consider to be very important, and it leads me to want to donate to causes that help children learn to read. Objectively, however, I can't justify that sort of donation. Treating the symptom, all that. I also considered the Heifer International, but I have donated immensely to them in the past, and I wanted to find something new.
There is also policy to consider. I am fond of the works of Chalice, but I cannot in good conscious donate my money to a Catholic organization. I ran into the same issue with Samaritan's Purse, a Christian organization. Indeed, a great deal of organizations are directly tied to the Church, and I cannot find it in myself to sign a check for such a charity. Further, I found it hard to justify a donation to any specific disease. I wanted to donate to breast cancer, originally, but I realize that my reasons are selfish. I grew up on Long Island, which has an abnormally high (for America, at least) rate of breast cancer, and I've had several unpleasant 'lumps' I needed to get checked out, while not cancerous they are certainly not a good sign. Inevitably, choosing a charity to donate to is quite the challenge indeed.
In fact, I avoided it to the greatest of my abilities by donating to the Vancouver Foundation, the local community foundation which distributes its wealth across various fields to aid the people of British Columbia. It is a thorough charity, eliminating any bias I may have towards certain causes over others, donating to youth programs, hospitals, the arts, young philanthropists, the homeless, the disabled, the environment, animal rights, etc. Just checked off 'donate my money to where the need is greatest' and the burden of bias is out of my hands.
Of course, I still donated quite specifically to a Vancouver-based foundation, one which combats problems found in the city and province I live in and ultimately will better my way of living, even though I am not the target of its charity. Still, it was the best one I could find in Canada that was efficient with its funds and not directly linked to any cause or organization I do not agree with. They have an excellent track record, as well. If you care, you may read more about them here. So there it is.
Before I forget, I must also ask for an extension or an excused absence (haha, what is this, high school?) on August 16th, the Tuesday after next. I am getting married on the 15th, and admittedly I doubt I will have the time on my first day as a newly-wed to write up a blog post.