Thursday, January 20, 2011

Donating instead of spending

I got the heads up on this great baby/child shopping site today. There are some great bargains and before I knew it my shopping cart was up to about $250 and I was shopping conservatively. I stopped for a moment surprised by how quickly it had added up. Due to my income being changed since going on maternity leave, I've started giving more thought to purchases. I started thinking about the Queensland floods and how there is even an initiative for giving underwear. I thought "I really don't need another muslin cloth when people don't even have underwear."
So I deleted all the items and I am going to make a donation to the relief fund. Sometimes I worry a little about whether the money that is donated actually goes to the cause. Years ago I used to sponsor a child but the amount of marketing letters and admin that was sent to me used to make me concerned. I have a background in media and knew how much all that glossy printing and expertise cost. I wondered how much of my money was going to the actual people in need and how much was going to admin costs. I do know that this is necessary to keep these organisations going but I have always preferred direct action, to do rather than just give money. I think the Baked Relief effort is awesome. From "adopting" a family to cook for to making yummy treats for the volunteers, it is literally love and support in action. I also like the trend of the media reporting all the wonderful things the Australian public is doing to help one another, from Baked relief to showing images of homemade signs of thanks.

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