A weird thing happened to me a little while ago. I received an e-mail from someone at Eventbrite.ca asking if I would be interested in writing a post about causes that I run for. At first I was a bit hesitant; you know that whole “online security” thing and was expecting that at some point I’d be asked if I wanted to send some cash to help some cause somewhere and all it would take is a credit card. Hey I don’t like the cynicism either but a healthy dose of skepticism is needed these days.
Now Eventbrite is an organization that, you guessed it, organizes events. I had originally created an account with them when I signed up for the Hurricana last year (a lovely little 80 km jaunt through the Laurentian Mountains) so I know that it’s an actual organization because I did actually run the race. And there was never a request for money to be exchanged. All that was asked was that I write a post about the races I support and link to one of their pages.
So I clicked on the link they sent me and was directed to a page about event planning for non profits and fundraisers. I hope everyone appreciates that I risked my hard drive making sure it wasn’t a virus. Now to me it looks like a link that is geared more towards people who are setting up or organizing events for fundraising and charity and not so much a link to see causes to run for. Although it is possible that’s there and I just got royally peeved waiting for my computer to load it. Damned slow internet.
I pondered the request again. I haven’t really run for any charitable causes. Not because I don’t believe in or support them but I have a hard time with some organizations and their practices. The biggest issue that I have stems from where I see some of the money going. If I’m giving money I don’t want to see the CEO driving a high-end car. I know it sounds kind of petty but I want to see my hard-earned money going to better things than the comfort of their butt or less than half of every dollar going to the cause. The other issue that I have heard about is when organizers set rules and limits for fundraising teams and I’ve heard of a few that made me furious. For example, a team of five people with a goal of $10 000. Which means $2000.00 each. And they mean $2000 each, not that one person can raise $5000 and the rest have to cover the other $5000. No they want $2000 each. The way I see it, if the team raises that money it shouldn’t matter who brings in how much as long as the team reaches the goal.
When I mentioned to the representative that I hadn’t really done any fundraising, I half expected a “Thanks for nothing” response. I didn’t get that. They explained that the whole goal of the post suggestion was to stimulate conversation (and let’s be honest to also get the link out there). Then they suggested that I write about causes that I would run for. Ohhhhh wellllllll you just opened a flood gate there because oddly enough, I had been thinking about that.
If I could swing it, I would start up a foundation to take in shelter animals, especially the older ones that would likely spend their last days in a cage and not with loving homes, often through unfortunate circumstances. I have kind of a soft spot since my own Leo would have gone to a shelter through no fault of his own when his previous owner died and the family couldn’t take him. The thought of that little guy having lived through hell and then having to go into a shelter broke my heart and I brought him home (with the permission of the family of course) as a short-term plan. Well two years later and right now he’s snuggled up against me as I type. He’s been across North America from coast to coast, hiked deserts and mountains, and has a pack with an older brother and sister and two cats to call his own.
I would run for mental health. I have seen too many of my first responder brothers and sisters suffer through the horrors of what many think of as being more than a job and describe it as a calling. I would run for veterans who have given so much so that we can debate the purpose of war; for the peacekeepers and peacemakers whose battles continue long after they come home. I would run for those who have the demons they struggle to keep at bay. The mental health care system in Ontario, well it’s not terrible but it could be a gajillion times better and some extra cash for programs and support wouldn’t hurt.
I would raise money for children’s hospitals everywhere so that no child or their family would have to be completely uprooted for treatment. Dealing with medical emergencies is bad enough without having to book a flight for surgery or having the family split apart because of work and school.
I would run so that others may eat, so that no belly goes empty, no field lay bare. It is sickening to think that in this day and age there are so many people who do not have access to clean water and nutritious food; that one person can wear enough wealth on their wrist to feed people for a month and then go out and buy another watch.
The list of causes to run for could go on forever. What about you? What causes have you or would you run for?