Saturday, December 04, 2010

Serious question on which I would like feedback:

When I started with that Donate button over there to the right, I figured that the HN Therabite Fund would get enough to buy a Therabite for person who needs one every six months or so.

Turns out the readers of this blog donated enough money to buy three in thirty-six hours, thus making my head explode, and the money is still coming in.

Which raises another question: I had planned to take the Donate button down after the HNTF hit two grand, because money is a pain in the ass to deal with, especially in large amounts. HOWEVER....

A situation has come to my attention. I can't give even the vaguest details, except to say that the people involved are tangentially related to the subjects this blog covers, the situation is dire, and the help I'm considering has not been requested in even the most oblique way.

What I'm saying is this:

You guys donated a shitload of money to a specific cause: getting jaw therapies to people who need them. So far, I have more potential Therabites than I do takers, so I'm donating the cash straight to the Oral Cancer Foundation to let them use it for research or bills or whatever they need. OCF is, like, two people--no staff, no fancy mailings--and the guy who runs it puts a whole chunk of his own change into it. Basically, I know the money's actually going to make a difference and not going to be wasted, AND it's going to something that y'all originally intended it to go to. Brian, the guy who started OCF, wants me to call him next week so we can talk about it.

There's extra money in the fund. It's not a small amount, and it keeps growing. With luck and goodwill and the generosity of readers, it'll continue to do so for some time.

May I use that money to relieve emergency situations, or would you rather I either keep it for oral cancer/some other established charity? It's y'all's call. I should mention here that even if you guys decide you'd rather have your money go to an established charity or three, I'm still going to do what I can to alleviate the crisis I mentioned above on my own, so you're not taking bread out of somebody's mouth.

You guys are the ones who gave the squish that got this whole dadratted thing started. Making decisions like this by committee is always a bad idea, but it's *your* money and so I want your input. I reserve the right to make the final decision by fiat, but I will take everybody's comment into account (unless it's all, "Send it all to me, dood.").

If the majority of comments lean toward establishing a recurring, say, quarterly fund for charity, then this is what I'll do: Solicit ideas and take a vote for two charities (with OCF being the third), then parcel up the money four times a year and make donations out of the fund.

If the majority of comments say "Do what you want" or "Fix the crisis", then I'll give you all as much detail as I can.

I'll make this pledge here and now: as near as I am able, if it comes to fixing a crisis, I will ascertain that the money will not go to waste. I'll consider any requests for cash with an extremely narrow eye, preferring to give out money to people who haven't asked for it. And I'll give you as good a story as I can about the recipients, dependent on their desire for privacy.

What do you say? I know what *I* would like to do, but I want to know what *you* think.

30 comments:

Penny said...

I always give with this intent: Once it leaves my hand, it's up to the receiver to do with it as he sees fit. I donate to Christian causes that don't taint their message with the anti-LGBT, anti-choice facets with which vehemently disagree. I donate to animal rights groups that also consider the feelings of humans. (I'm not cool with throwing paint at anyone, no matter what they're wearing.) If I can't donate to a cause and really feel that they're going to use my money as *I* would, then I don't donate.

I donated what I could afford to HN, and I trust you totally to manage the money in a way that will benefit the universe at large, but...I arguably have an inside track that not everyone here is going to have. I can see how the argument could well be made that having the money benefit oral cancer patients is a goal that shouldn't be altered.

Can I ask this? Does the crisis involve a regular here? Is it health-related? If it was something that was kept "in the family" so to speak, I can see tweaking the course that's been laid in. Does that make sense?

Jo said...

Yes, you may ask. The crisis involves a reader, it is health-related, and it actually is a crisis, not just an inconvenience. A little bump at a crucial time might just make a huge difference.

Thanks for your feedback, Pen.

catlinye-maker said...

Please go ahead and use the money wherever you see a need. I am glad that our contributions are filled up and running over as it were, and I'd be pleased as punch to see the 'extra' used where it could make a real difference to someone, no matter what the need might be.

Cr0w$C@lling said...

Fix the Crisis!

Anonymous said...

I am not one of the donors, so this is a suggestion, not a suggestion with financial interest behind it.

I have no idea if this is possible, but maybe there is a foundation/group/forum that you can funnel funds through so that donors can get a letter back and take a deduction for their donation on their income tax.

Dr. Alice said...

We all trust your judgement, or we wouldn't have given the money. I say, you have a windfall, give it to the crisis.

Anonymous said...

After all these years reading your blog, I trust your judgement. Use the money as you see fit to make a difference. Glad to know that there is spare to help.

Pixi
(going anon, as Blogger won't let me log in - pah!)

Anonymous said...

I haven't been able to donate yet, have to wait until the year-end bonus (hopefully!!) comes in. But FWIW, I'd say help alleviate the crisis....

me said...

I trust your judgment ~ fix the crisis...

And bless you (and your readers)for doing this ~

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

You do what you think needs doing first, Jo. Hopefully the fund will continue to grow and others can be helped as well. Crises must be dealt with in a hurry and if we can help then Woo Hoo.

messymimi said...

I trust you.

Anonymous said...

I donated a small amount, but I know that even that little bit could make the difference in a little crisis. Because you are my new best friend Jo, I trust you implicitly to do with the money what you think best. Hell, as far as I am concerned you can go buy YOURSELF something for Christmas!

Just don't give any of it to the Tea Partiers!

All that being said, I suggest avoiding funnels. I am thinking you might get more joy out of sending a check to someone who has hit a bump in the road/palate/wherever. And whatever brings you joy brings me joy.

Hugs, Another Nurse.

Anonymous said...

I, too, trust your judgment. Please do whatever you think needs doing.

Sorry to hear that your head exploded. :)

--Queen Anne's Lace

Anonymous said...

I gave you money for you, out of appreciation. No strings ... crisis, beer, OCF, poutine, whatever. Yours to do with as you will.

geekette said...

Fix the crisis!

JHG said...

Fix the crisis. I trust your judgment.

beadnik said...

Wish I could give more, and probably after the holidays I will have a bit more discretionary whatevah. Anyway, I totally trust your judgment (huh! wikipedia agrees with spellcheck that judgment without the e after the g is the correct spelling...who knew?) on this. Fix what needs fixing, and thanks for the effort you're putting into this.

Sarabeth said...

i think it's a brilliant idea to keep moving the funds forward as needed :)

pita said...

I say fix the crisis. You said it's still health related and the original fund was set up for a health related issue so I don't see it as changing the intent all that much. It's also not going to deprive anyone from the Therabites since you have more potential ones than takers right now.
It'll help out someone in the family of readers, and a family helps each other out no matter how odd ball or loosely connected the family is.
That's my two cents anyway. :)

June Clever said...

Having been at the "code red" point myself, a time or two, I know how much it would have meant if someone had stepped in and said "Here. I hope this helps a bit". There were times it would have made more difference than anyone could have known.

You help where you can. If that's donating to someone in a crisis, that you know the money could make a difference for, use it where you know it is most needed.

Scrub Ninja said...

For me at least, I'm sending a little money because I trust you to put it someplace it will be useful and appreciated. Direct it as you like, and if you can, let us know where it goes and what happens as a result.

CCSutton said...

I concur - I trust your judgment Jo. Whatever you think is the best use is fine by me.

Celeste said...

Take my comment with a grain of salt, since I haven't donated at this time. I am such a fan of the Modest Needs website for this very reason--to give to somebody in a time of crisis, to keep them from going into poverty. So, I would say that the gift to the person in crisis would be humane. I like Modest Needs because they require that those they assist provide proof of whatever is their crisis (facing eviction, utility shutoff, etc. etc.).

I haven't read the comments, but my gut feeling is that if you know somebody who needs help, and you can trust but verify, you should be that helping hand.

clairesmum said...

Made my donation after you posted this email - I'm ok with whatever you choose to do with it. However, I'd hate you see you or your web site end up getting targeted by folks who ARE scammers and not genuinely needy, so as a longer term strategy maybe a link to an organization such as OCF that is a verifiable charity (and can provide receipts, etc. which can be a factor in donations for some folks and for size of donations for other folks) would work.
Your blog - your choice.
and THANKS for sharing all that you have on this blog. One of my "I'm thankful for's" last week was YOUR good health news.

Silliyak said...

Biggest bang for the buck, which reverts to your judgement which is fine.

AM said...

While in the shower I was thinking about you and the donate button, and thinking about how it's good to have big foundations doing good and all, but how nice it is that you can reach out and touch someone and change their life. I trust you and I think you should go fix the crisis. There's a lot to be said for direct action and making things better. Go forth and be a force for good.

Andrea said...

Dude, we're critical care nurses, fix the goddamn crisis!

I trust your nursing judgement. ;)

TheSchaft said...

Fix the crisis. We all trust your judgment, and this seems like it's at the top of the heap.

Anonymous said...

if you can help, help.

danielle said...

Fix the crisis - isnt that what it is all about anyway? Doesnt matter what the crisis is - do what you can to help!