Today I have been talking with a customer of mine. She is one of those parents who knows how to get the equipment her kids needs. She hunts out charities, and applies for various pieces of equipment to give her kids what she could not afford to give them on their own. In that respect, I both admire and envy her. I certainly don't have the time or the energy!
But what is the real cost involved in asking for help? Has anyone considered what the requirements of some charities really mean in the world of disability, acceptance, and full integration into society. Do charities need to rethink some of their practices? Or is it all just a necessary evil? At what point does a charity overstep the mark, for the sake of raising funds?
You see, I am not convinced that all donations made to these charities are particularly untruistic. Some may say, "who cares, 'dirty' money has the same face value as honest money". And there is an element of truth in that. But something still doesn't sit right with me.
As part of her application for funding for some chairs for her children for school, this lady was asked to attend a charity dinner, and to give a speech. She initially agreed. Anything to help her kids, right? Then they said her daughter would have to be there too. At this point she almost pulled out. Her daughter is autistic, and they wanted her to attend a meeting with a large group of people. In the end, they went, and her daughter coped reasonably well. But. And there is always a but....
Why did this family have to put their private lives on display like this? Why did this little girl have to be paraded in front of a bunch of rich old ladies and men, in order to garner their support? Why were these people put on display like some sort of sick circus act, that people had paid to come and see?
There is a verse in the Bible that says when it comes to giving to not let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. In other words, do your giving in secret. Do it with a pure heart. Not for praise or recognition.
People know what Variety does. Why is that not enough? Why do they have to be entertained with a fancy dinner, and a parade of disabled children to coo and aww over? Why do these children need to be put on display? Do they get some sick sort of satisfaction, and pride seeing what they are doing for these poor little handicapped kids? Do they like to be there to show others that they support this cause? Do they like being able to stare in a socially acceptable way?
And should places like Variety be promoting this kind of segregation? Sure, money is hard to come by. But is putting special needs kids on display really the best way to get it?