Tag Archives: Charity

I may have spoken too soon.

 

Directly after finishing my blog post about the worst non-profit advertisement, I came across a program titled ‘Buy a Sex Toy, Save a Child – A Revolutionary Program’. At first I thought this must be an article written by the Onion, but no sadly it is true. 

The press release for this program reads:

“The Buy a Sex toy, save a child Charity Program is our commitment to society. We’ve always known that a sustainable business needs the support of healthy communities and a high quality environment. We aim to be the most trusted retailer wherever we trade by demonstrating a clear sense of social responsibility. ” said Jessica Blake, Sinless Touch Vice President of Corporate Communications.

SinlessTouch.com is the first adult novelty company committed to philanthropy as a way of reaching out to its customers. It is something nobody has ever done in the industry. Sinless Touch is adopting children worldwide through the donations made by generous customers. During checkout, customers have the option to round up their purchases and donate electronic “spare change” to a charitable cause. The donation is included in their payment.

“Our customers have embraced the program with open arms and the feedback we have received is phenomenal. It creates opportunities in a variety of different areas that provide practical assistance to impoverished communities such as Education, Health and Early Childhood Development. ” said Blake.

Customers can also check the adopted child’s status on SinlessTouch.com. It provides an update of each child’s well-being through a non-profit social development organization.

“This commitment has revolutionized the way we do business and its benefits translate into educated and empowered children who can contribute positively to every aspect of society. Therefore, creating a standard for the future.” says Blake.

The Buy a Sex toy, Save a child Charity Program is Sinless Touch’s commitment to society. It aims be the most trusted adult retailer wherever they trade by demonstrating a clear sense of social responsibility.

While the unicef germany advertisement was a striking reminder of all that is wrong with development, the Buy a Sex Toy, Save a Child program is a poignant example of how development through consumerism is so incredibly disconnected from the so-called issues being addressed.

Buy a vibrator, save a child.

Masterbate and cure aids.

Feel the pleasure of our items and of the smile on the face of a poor child.

I have written extensively in other blog posts about how I believe consumerism as development is harmful to knowledge transfer regarding development issues and may effectively be damaging to those receiving the so-called benefits. Instead of going on another rant about development as consumerism I would like to let the Buy A Sex Toy, Save a Child program stand for itself. I would also like to re-give the award for the worst development advertisement to the lovely people at Sinless Touch, you truly deserve it.

Please visit the link below to enjoy the worst video ad of all time.

http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/buy-a-sex-toy-save-a-child-a-revolutionary-program-99643.php

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Filed under Consumerism, Current Events, Development, International Development

The Giving Pledge

Recently much media attention has been given to 40 American billionaires, pledging to give away 50% of their fortune to ‘charity’. The program was the brain child of Bill and Melinda Gates. When I initially encountered this story my criticism was directed at the Billionaires I perceived as using empty pledges ( The Giving Pledge does not accept money but asks billionaires to make a moral commitment to give their fortunes to charity) to gain positive publicity. After doing more research, which led me to the Giving Pledge Website (http://givingpledge.org/), I realized my criticism should be directed not at these billionaires searching for meaning in their lives through monetary donations, but rather at the news articles lack of specifics.

The Giving Pledge website presents a profile for each individual donating their fortunes. In these profiles you can find letters written by the billionaires outlining which charity their money may be given to and why. While it seems many of the billionaires plan to give half of their future fortune to their own charities, or organizations they have personal interests in, surprise surprise, I applaud the website for offering specific details regarding these pledges. In contrast, the majority of news articles I have read seem to glorify these billionaires for giving away their money to ‘charity’, with no real details regarding where the money will go and how it will ‘help people’. Its seems the idea of providing monetary donations to ‘charity’, has become accepted as a wholly positive act, that journalists believe no explanation is needed. While this blog entry could turn into a tirade about the state of journalism, i’d rather it be a verbalization of the personal offense I take to the news coverage of the Giving Pledge and more generally how charitable donations are written about.

If ever a journalist views this blog post,  here are some specific issues I take with the coverage of the Giving Pledge/charitable donations :

  • Donating money to some charitable cause, in particularly large sums of money is not necessarily an automatically positive act (as case study please see African continent/’development’/AID money or NGOs in Haiti)
  • Details regarding where the money is going and how it will be spent, would be appreciated
  • These details do not include generalizations such as- money given to poverty, aids, the environment etc. as these details do not actually mean anything.
  • Also broad details about which organization the money will be going to, does not suffice as an explanation ie- money is going to red cross, world vision etc.

An example of details that would suffice as an explanation: Name of person, (a little bit of history about them, emphasis on bit as this should not occupy the majority of the content) is giving 15.6 million dollars to War Child. 30% of this money will be designated to administrative costs at the organization’s office in London, 50% will be used for infrastructure costs at the current program in Sierra Leonne (this will include buying raw materials to build four more onsite offices), the remaining 20% will be used to purchase technical equipment. I understand specific details may not be available for all donations, however I cannot accept that ‘some amount of money donated to some cause’ is the only information you can find, so please try harder.

I realize that these articles are merely reflective of the current state of  journalism, our educational systems,  historical understandings about charity/development etc. However, I do not think this should excuse individuals who claim it is their job to present society with information, from writing news stories that do not really mean anything.

My initial encounter with this story was through the Ottawa Citizen and I decided to write them an opinion piece, unfortunately it has not yet been published. Please find it below.

RE: Billionaires pledge fortunes to charity- At least 42 pledge to give at least half of fortune to charity

My name is Lisa and along with 42 of the richest people in the United States, I would also like to morally pledge half of my future fortune to ‘charity’. While I am may not be a billionaire yet per se, similarly to my friends Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, my pledge is being made in the future when my financial situation is bound to change. While some might say that making this pledge to ‘charity’ with no real specifics is a clever method of garnering positive publicity, they are wrong. Symbolically pledging these future funds is a means to show how much I care about the difficult issues we as a people face today. I have witnessed firsthand those less fortunate than myself, and feel a burning sensation in my heart to give these funds to some organization, to go to some cause, during sometime in the future. I do not find it necessary to identify any of these issues, as they are obvious. Being fortunate enough to address these issues with my money, I’m sure my lack of knowledge can be overlooked. Please inform Bill and Melinda that I hope to receive my membership to The Giving Pledge society and look forward to our annual meetings and dinners. Please also print a picture of my face in your newspaper with the title “ Future Billionaire to Give Away Future Fortune to a Good Cause’ (I think Good Cause has a better ring to it than Charity).  You can also quote me beside my picture saying, “ Making money is my passion, but when I am shrivelled up and can no longer enjoy it, I’d like it to go to some unfortunate people, somewhere, suffering from something so that I can make a difference’.

Thank you.

Lisa.

First Canadian to Pledge Future Fortune

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Billionaires+pledge+fortunes+charity/3360996/story.html#ixzz0wDk7IlLw

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Filed under Charity, Current Events, Development, Economics, International Development, Journalism, Politics, Uncategorized