[TT] Donating for the Haiyan Disaster

Ah, long time no blog. I'm sorry for the frequent breaks between blog entries but I've been busy and unfortunately my blog is often put on the back burner.

For this Thoughts Thursday, I wanted to explore the topic of donating to charities, specifically to humanitarian aid and relief. As most of you know, the Philippines was hit with a typhoon that took the lives of more than 4,000 people, injured an upwards of 18,000 people, and left a thousand and more missing. In the face of this tragedy, the world dove into their pockets and donated to various charities and aid agencies to help those affected.

I'll be honest. I've yet to decide which organization to donate to.
Having said that, I am more than open to suggestions on where to direct my money.

I say this because there are so many faces and perspectives to being philanthropic. There are so many arguments for and against certain organizations, the issue of donor fatigue, and a general dislike for how charities and humanitarian aid organizations are run.

Here's the thing:

Organizations are businesses, who need to advertise and spend money to allow themselves to remain in operation. There is also a concern that there are the people working within these businesses who give themselves bigger "salary" cuts when money should really be put into the cause they stand for. The hard truth is that no matter how big a person's heart is, they have to make a living and I'm not talking about those who claim to be generous but use the title of charity for their own personal gain. Donor fatigue comes as a price of people telling you to donate left and right. It's hard enough for any businesses to convince you to fork over your hard-earned money, let alone make you feel guilty for not giving anything anytime somebody asks for a donation.

Before you say, "oh, donations come in many ways! You could give old clothes or food and you'll still be doing your part," let me start by saying...

Yes and no. Especially with the Haiyan disaster in the Philippines, charities and other organizations have advertised over and over that they want cash, in order to turn money into different forms of aid, like medical help. While I agree that is a fair point, people in the Philippines are in need of food and other material necessities as well! Who's to say we're not filling a gap in humanitarian aid? Plus, there is always the security that some corporate honcho isn't going to pocket "the old Ed Hardy sweater I regretted buying when I was younger". There are ups and downs to both arguments.

Which agency vessel will be able to directly translate my donation into aid to the people who need it most?

How do you decide on which charity to donate to? Please share your thoughts!

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