Posted by: AJtheIrishLass | April 23, 2019

Giving – It’s Personal and That’s Okay

white concrete building Photo by Adrienn on

Two memes related to raising funds to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral recently made the rounds on my Facebook news feed. They both revolved around a similar message: Billions have been donated, yet Flint, Michigan and Puerto Rico still need help, so money should go to those needs instead. The second added a mention of the crisis with separated children at the southern border.

Are caring about humanitarian causes and cultural/historical ones mutually exclusive? Are we treating the causes that people do or don’t support as a judgment against peoples’ values?

I’d say that supporting one type of cause doesn’t exclude other causes by any means. When we question the motives of people who decide to donate to rebuild Notre Dame but assume they don’t care about other causes as well, we’re being needlessly judgemental.

Peoples’ choices about giving are personal and we shouldn’t be telling people what causes to support or how to go about showing support. In the wake of a disaster, people might show public support for a rebuilding effort because of all the attention that surrounds the event. It’s unreasonable to assume that their support for one particular cause means that’s the ONLY one they support.

Donations from millionaires and billionaires naturally bring about a lot of attention because of their size. However, most donations are probably much smaller in scope. They are no less important just because of their size.

There are many ways to show support for causes besides donating. You can set up a social media fundraiser, blog about your cause, raise awareness with a profile picture or frame – your imagination is your only limit. It’s not the size of your gift, but the thought that’s most important.


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