Saturday, November 21, 2009

The New Philanthropist

Somehow I've developed into someone who'd prefer to spend extra money to help brighten someone's day rather than spend it on myself. There is a diagnosis for this condition -- I suffer from Philanthropy.

When I read Petra's "Help for Anissa Mayhew" post, I decided I needed to do something even though I don't know her. The fact that someone I sort of know knows her makes me feel close enough to her. Besides, three years ago it was Mrs. Square Peg who was in the hospital (albeit not with a stroke), so I know what it feels like to be a working dad and have the mantle of Mr. Mom thrust upon oneself. Certainly I would spread the word, which is that a blogger and mom, Anissa Mayhew, has had a stroke, and that she and her family need prayers and assistance. Maybe I'd send money somehow.

But there are many other folks in the world like Anissa who need help. I wish I had unlimited resources so I could help all whom I learn about.

I'm not talking about donating millions of dollars for medical research. But I don't mean limiting my giving to those in emergency situations like Anissa, either. What I do dream about is having enough money to send a poor family to Walt Disney World, or to buy a clarinet for a budding Benny Goodman, or to buy tickets to a Jonas Brothers concert for a mom and her impossibly cute daughter so that the mom doesn't need "to rip out [her] organs and sell them on the black market to make it happen." Okay, maybe I do have enough money lying around for that last one if I really scrounge and don't tell my wife about it. But I kinda wanna do that several times each week.

I guess I'm a modern-day Santa Claus wanna-be. Unfortunately I have neither the magic nor the elves to pull that off. But what I do have is The Internet and a Blog. In other words, the next best thing to giving money out to people is to encourage others to give money out to people.

So I asked myself, "Wouldn't it be great if I could match people who wish to give money with people who wish to receive money?" And then I answered myself, "Just do a search on the web, and I'll bet you'll find such a site." Lo and behold, five seconds later I found that there is such a site already set up!

And then it occurred to me, fleetingly, that maybe someone out there might be willing to pay for our daughter's summer arts camp in 2010. I imagined myself signing up as a potential recipient and watching the money pour in!

But no, this blog is not about making money for me or my family. I do not advertise or have a beg button. This blog is solely a labor of love.

So if you're still reading this, please read Petra's post now and act in whatever way seems right for you. And then why not learn how you can become a philanthropist and help make the world a better place for at least one person!

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