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downsides of the ice bucket challenge

Why the Ice Bucket Challenge is bad for you: "The ALS campaign may be a great way to raise money – but it is a horrible reason to donate it" [more inside]
posted by flex on Aug 25, 2014 - 144 comments

"...this is a charity that's supposed to be helping the troops."

ProPublica reports: Pro-Troop Charity Misleads Donors While Lining Political Consultants' Pockets. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Aug 6, 2014 - 47 comments

An ounce of prevention is an administrative violation

Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not. Oxfam Canada, while renewing its charitable status, got into an argument with the Canadian Revenue Agency over its purpose. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Jul 25, 2014 - 40 comments

What The Poor Deserve

"When our donors met the actual people they were helping they often didn’t like them. During our Secret Santa drive, volunteers sometimes refused to drop gifts at houses with TVs inside. They got angry when clients had cell phones or in some other way didn’t match their expectations. Other times, the donations we got were too disgusting to pass along—soup cans that bulged with botulism and diapers so dry rotted they crumbled in our hands. One Thanksgiving, a board member called from the parking lot, requesting help carrying a frozen turkey from her trunk to our office. “Can you find a deserving family?” she asked. I lugged the bird up three flights of stairs. Somewhere near the top, I noticed the expiration date. It was seventeen years old." Anya Groner talks about working for Hudson Outreach in up-state New York and the sobering, chilling effect it had on her idealism.
posted by The Whelk on Jul 7, 2014 - 95 comments

Po' Money, Less Problems

Mexico tried giving poor people cash instead of food. It worked. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on Jun 28, 2014 - 71 comments

When is a church not a church?

NPR reporter John Burnett and investigator Samantha Sunne examine the finances of Christian TV network Daystar.
At NPR's request, the Trinity Foundation, a watchdog group in Dallas that monitors Christian broadcasters, compiled a list of the nation's 30 leading evangelist broadcasters. Twenty-two of them are designated churches, meaning they don't have to report anything to anybody. Of those, two-thirds have churches, while a third of them — including Daystar — hold no regular services.

posted by audi alteram partem on Apr 2, 2014 - 44 comments

The Voluntarism Fantasy

Mike Konczal, for Democracy Journal: The Voluntarism Fantasy [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu on Mar 18, 2014 - 33 comments

I never got recognition in my life

Joe Bell is 95 years old, and a World War II veteran. He wears his uniform to the senior center on Veterans Day or to meet with other vets. This past weekend, he put on his uniform to cheer on runners in a race that benefits the foundation for fallen Army Ranger Pat Tillman. His neighbor, Julia Prodis Sulek, a reporter for the Mercury News, captured what happened next. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 5, 2014 - 16 comments

Born sinner, the opposite of a winner

Why is there Poverty? An Animated History. From WhyPoverty.net. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 19, 2013 - 5 comments

Time is Money!

Once every two years "Only Watch", a charitable fundraiser for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, auctions unique watches provided by the prestige Swiss watch brands. It was held in 2013 on September 28, raising 5,066,000 Euros. In a year with some disappointing sales, which watch sold for the highest value? [more inside]
posted by Admira on Oct 4, 2013 - 17 comments

Why Don't I Give Money to Poor People?

"What am I, USAID? Who cares what he spent it on? If those two dollars (or 10, or 20) magically disappeared from my back pocket, I never would have noticed. Why am I Jay Gatsby when it goes to making me better off, but Ebeneezer Scrooge if it does that for someone else? All that shit about enabling, it's just an excuse for me to keep what I feel is mine."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 19, 2013 - 105 comments

Huge water reserve found underneath Kenya

Scientists have found an underground water reserve in Kenya. So large that it could meet the entire country's water needs for the next 70 years.
posted by pallen123 on Sep 11, 2013 - 50 comments

EA, humble?

The latest Humble Bundle is a collection of 8 AAA games from EA. Retail price for these games is $215 but, with the Humble Bundle, users can set their own price at anything starting from $1. Humble Bundle has received some flak previously for partnering with big brands, with many arguing that they had abandoned their original purpose of promoting indie game developers. EA however, in a likely attempt to stave off such criticism, has agreed to have 100% of proceeds from this bundle go to charity.

So what's in it for EA? Three of the games in the bundle can only be redeemed through Origin, EA's proprietary digital distribution framework which has thus far had very little success at competing with Steam. Unfortunately, Origin does not seem to be up to handing the influx of new users.
posted by 256 on Aug 15, 2013 - 138 comments

My life is not getting better. I need a helping hand

Men Who Want AIDS—and How It Improved Their Lives Some homeless people find that having AIDS entitles them to assistance that will allow them to get off the streets. Some are desperate enough to deliberately get infected as they see no other way to get the help they need.
posted by 2manyusernames on Aug 14, 2013 - 37 comments

"The need for diapers is 'practically infinite'"

There have been days, since her son Ezekiel was born 11 months ago, that Los Angeles mom Beth Capper has gone without food to keep up her supply. One friend was arrested for stealing some. It's not drugs or alcohol or even baby formula that has put her in such a bind. It's diapers.
posted by the young rope-rider on Jul 30, 2013 - 335 comments

In Lieu of Money, Toyota Donates Efficiency to New York Charity

The Food Bank for New York City is the country’s largest anti-hunger charity, feeding about 1.5 million people every year. It leans heavily, as other charities do, on the generosity of businesses, including Target, Bank of America, Delta Air Lines and the New York Yankees. Toyota was also a donor. But then Toyota had a different idea. Instead of a check, it offered kaizen.
posted by destrius on Jul 27, 2013 - 69 comments

Santa's Little Helper

Sam Simon, an original developer for The Simpsons, is still listed on the opening credits despite leaving the show in 1993. He once told a magazine that he continues to make "tens of millions" of dollars a year from his contributions. In 2012 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He has recently announced that he will give away his entire fortune to charity. The Sam Simon Foundation.
posted by girlmightlive on Jul 25, 2013 - 17 comments

America's 50 worst charities

Every year, Kids Wish Network raises millions of dollars in donations in the name of dying children and their families. Every year, it spends less than 3 cents on the dollar helping kids... In the past decade alone, Kids Wish has channeled nearly $110 million donated for sick children to its corporate solicitors. An additional $4.8 million has gone to pay the charity's founder and his own consulting firms... But Kids Wish is not an isolated case... An old-fashioned investigative reporting piece into the worst charities in the US. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Jun 6, 2013 - 75 comments

Fitch the Homeless

One man's attempt to rebrand Abercrombie & Fitch as "The World's Number One Brand of Homeless Apparel". SLYT
posted by dobbs on May 14, 2013 - 49 comments

“He’s just like a noble lion that does not bite.”

The last King of Rwanda, Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, lives on public assistance in low-income housing, at a dead end between US Route 66 and State Route 655 in Oakton, Virginia. 'He ruled Rwanda for just nine months in the 1960's before fleeing a revolt and has spent the last half century in exile, powerless to stop the violence that ripped through his country. He is 76 years old now, his tottering seven-foot-two-inch frame stooped by age and the vagaries of fate.'
posted by zarq on Mar 29, 2013 - 26 comments

Highest Ranked Charity in America Celebrates 27th Anniversary

As a young boy Henri Landwirth survived the death camp of Auschwitz. He lost his childhood to the war and was determined that this should not happen again in the future. Later, as a successful hotelier in Florida, he helped arrange free vacations for children with life-threatening diseases to Walt Disney World and SeaWorld. Sadly, the time it took to set up a vacation was long and when one child, Amy, died from leukemia before her wish could be fulfilled, Landwirth founded "Give Kids The World." [more inside]
posted by IndigoSkye on Mar 21, 2013 - 12 comments

One dollar at a time

NYT: Larry Selman died Sunday morning of heart failure. He was 70. Larry was the feature of the Academy Award nominated "The Collector of Bedford Street" (wikipedia). [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jan 25, 2013 - 4 comments

A London harrier Helps Harry

A London resident named Steven Whyley has just finished running the courses of all of London's Underground routes to raise money for brain cancer research. But because this is MetaFilter, it's interesting to note that he did so in honor of another, younger person who was also raising money for brain cancer -- until he succumbed to the same disease. [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt on Jan 9, 2013 - 4 comments

AKIRA Fan Builds Kaneda’s Motorcycle and Rides for Charity

AKIRA Fan Builds Kaneda’s Motorcycle and Rides for Charity
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 9, 2012 - 20 comments

Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway

A Norwegian group called Radi-Aid has launched an appeal to ship radiators from Africa to Norway. They have also released a video to highlight the plight of freezing children during Norway's harsh winter. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Nov 19, 2012 - 34 comments

You are bidding on an evening of games with some guys from TV!

"One tragic event and two acts of generosity brought the [Board Game Geek] community together: the result was the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund." [more inside]
posted by Midnight Rambler on Nov 11, 2012 - 17 comments

José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano

José "Pepe" Mujica had been the President of Uruguay since 2010 and is considered to be the 'World’s poorest president'. "His humble lifestyle is reflected by his choice of an aging Volkswagen Beetle as transport, his only asset. The Economist describes him as "a roly-poly former guerrilla who grows flowers on a small farm and swears by vegetarianism". He also donates 87% of his state salary to charitable causes. He does not believe in God." [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Nov 11, 2012 - 38 comments

Can you make it pop?

Ad creatives, designers, animators, directors, illustrators and more have taken time out to dress up their favourite worst feedback from clients, transforming quotes that would normally give you a twitch, into a diverse collection of posters.
posted by Fleebnork on Nov 8, 2012 - 52 comments

Click-Clack the Rattle Bag

Neil Gaiman reads a story that scared people. A new Neil Gaiman story is available from Audible. It's free, and every copy downloaded means a donation to DonorsChoose or BookTrust. (Neil does ask that you wait to listen to it until after dark.)
posted by kristi on Oct 26, 2012 - 22 comments

Adventures in celebrity charity.

“If I had depended on Yéle,” said Diaoly Estimé, whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, “these kids would all be dead by now.” (SLNYT)
posted by Nomyte on Oct 12, 2012 - 14 comments

Helpa helpa helpa the kids!

Bret and Jemaine of Flight of the Conchords interview some New Zealand schoolchildren to find inspiration for their new charity single, Feel Inside.
posted by av123 on Aug 26, 2012 - 35 comments

"Go Bowling sometime people!"

All Star Celebrity Bowling: Over the last two months, Chris Hardwick and the folks over at The Nerdist have hosted a charity bowling tournament with some of their famous friends. The series has been hugely addictive and very entertaining. [more inside]
posted by quin on Jun 6, 2012 - 10 comments

Jomama is totally a word

Scrabble, as played by Eddie Guerrero's rules
posted by frimble on May 23, 2012 - 20 comments

Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot. I must be a creature. I must be a creature of the night.

He is vengeance. He is the night. He is 7 years old, and he is Batman.
posted by Smart Dalek on Apr 20, 2012 - 11 comments

To Wear Charity

Scott Harrison, the founder of charitywater.org, was in many ways "uniquely qualified" [his words] to set a life goal for global clean water with 100% of the donations to this charity transparently and deliberately accounted for via GPS photos and the random live stream of a well-digging! Interview [Warning: Kevin Rose inside] [more inside]
posted by TangerineGurl on Apr 5, 2012 - 11 comments

Homeless people used as mobile 4G hotspots at SXSW

Homeless people are being used as mobile hotspots at SXSW, as part of a project called Homeless Hotspots. According to the official website, "Homeless Hotspots is a charitable innovation initiative by BBH New York. It attempts to modernize the Street Newspaper model employed to support homeless populations." Reactions online have been mixed. Some commentators are outraged, while others wonder whether the project is helpful or exploitative.
posted by asnider on Mar 12, 2012 - 73 comments

we don't want your shoes.

Thinking of donating clothes to Africa? Buying shoes so that someone else can have a pair (or just go a day without shoes)? How about buying charity products or visiting impoverished nations to volunteer? Please reconsider. Your good intentions are likely just paving the path to Hell (or economic danger) with Stuff We Don't Want.
posted by divabat on Mar 7, 2012 - 86 comments

Layaway In A Manger

From Michigan to Nebraska, from Washington State to North Carolina, anonymous donors have been paying off "layaway" tabs for holiday-shopping families.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 16, 2011 - 82 comments

Elizabeth Taylor's jewels huge success at auction

Tuesday at Christie's, Elizabeth Taylor's collection of jewelry brought $115.8 million most of it earmarked for her AIDS and other charities. [more inside]
posted by Anitanola on Dec 14, 2011 - 23 comments

Holiday Humble Bundle

Just in time for the gift-giving season, Humble Indie Bundle 4 has been released. Available for MacOS, Windows, and Linux on a pay-what-you-want scheme, this release (currently) includes Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, Super Meat Boy, Shank, and Nightsky HD. Pay more than the average donation and get Gratuitous Space Battles and Cave Story+ included in your Bundle. When purchasing, you can choose how your money will be allocated between developers, charities (Child's Play Charity and American Red Cross), and a tip to the Humble team. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Dec 13, 2011 - 43 comments

Before the Occupy movement, there were tent cities.

"Imagine if you had never been homeless before and you'd just lost your job and you lost your home. What would you do? Would you immediately go begging or knocking on a door? No, you would downsize, move into cheaper accommodations, if that did not work you'd move in with friends or relatives and then you'd move into a cheap motel and then ... where would you want to go before winding up at a shelter door? You would much prefer to live at a park with your family and your dog." ... "In just about every major city, there are tent cities. Unfortunately, we're in a growth industry and the numbers are going to continue." -- Michael Stoop, a community organizer for the National Coalition for the Homeless, explaining that the surge in American tent city shantytowns, first highlighted on MeFi in 2008/09: 1, 2, 3, has not slowed. The Great Recession: Life in Tent City, Lakewood NJ / Photo Gallery / Video. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 10, 2011 - 40 comments

The $300,00 T-shirt

Threadless has created a t-shirt line for UNICEF in which the shirts cost the same as what's depicted on them. So this one, of a cargo flight, costs $300,000. This one, for insecticide-treated mosquito nets, might be more in your price range.
posted by me3dia on Oct 25, 2011 - 43 comments

X Factor vs Charity

Is all publicity good publicity? Rhythmix is a UK music charity that works with vulnerable young people. The name is trademarked. Rhythmix is a band created last week by the X Factor in the UK. Sim Co want to trademark it. The show seems to believe all publicity is good publicity. The Charity says "it is obviously wildly inappropriate, whatever the legalities, for a group on the X Factor to share the name of a charity working with bereaved young people, young people with learning difficulties, young people in prison". The show admits it knew about the Charity, but went ahead anyway. The Internet is annoyed.
posted by RegMcF on Oct 10, 2011 - 30 comments

Humble Indie Bundle 3 (or is it 4?)

There's a new Humble Indie Bundle out. (Previously, Previously, also Previously.) The popular pay-what-you-want game distribution offers up Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVVV, Hammerfight, and And Yet It Moves for all three major OS platforms, and works with Steam. You set the price; you decide what charity gets the money. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Aug 2, 2011 - 48 comments

smashmouth egg eating contest kicks off fullblown egg holocaust. chicken cloacas dryly gulp. egg goen. ate all the eggs. ate all of them

After Twitter user @fart directed several non-sequitur tweets at Shrek soundtrack favorite band Smash Mouth's Twitter account, something strange happened: people across the Internet began demanding that the band eat a lot of eggs for charity. What began as a Twitter meme quickly spread across the Internet, from newspaper comment sections to YouTube (actually kind of catchy song!). Predictably, Wikipedia editors spent more than a page arguing over whether or not this was notable. Others on Twitter speculated about the band's reaction. Today, the band finally broke the silence: Smash Mouth has agreed to attempt to eat 24 eggs if they receive $10,000 in donations to St. Jude's Children's Hospital. [more inside]
posted by cobra_high_tigers on Jul 5, 2011 - 61 comments

When you buy or think pink, know where your green is going.

New York Attorney General: Coalition Against Breast Cancer - "Scam". 'The state of New York sued a breast cancer charity on Tuesday, accusing it of soliciting more than $9 million and spending virtually none of it on the cause.' 'The Coalition Against Breast Cancer, based in Long Island, told donors their money would go toward research and mammogram screenings, but spent most of the $9.1 million it collected over five years on fundraising fees, salaries and benefits and personal goods, the state attorney general alleges.' But what about all those "pink" products that tout a donation to a charity when you buy? [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jun 30, 2011 - 41 comments

Don-8r: the alternative to Chuggers

21-year-old inventor Tim Pryde has come up with an alternative to the much-circumnavigated "chuggers" (chuggers previously) ‒ solicitous-but-impossibly-cute robot "Don-8r". [more inside]
posted by greenish on Jun 24, 2011 - 25 comments

How Very Generous of Us

"Using pejorative terms like "handouts" and "doling out", some parts of the media are mounting a campaign to suggest Britain should be embarrassed by our level of aid giving. But the idea that aid is generous is absurd. Some families, inspired by religious tradition, think it is appropriate to give 10% of what they have to charity, £10 in every £100 of earnings. In 2010, the UK gave not £10, not £1, but 56p ($0.91) in overseas aid for every £100 ($163) we earned as a country. On average, since 1990 we have given even less, 35p ($0.57)." [Giving aid to poor countries is hardly a great act of generosity] [more inside]
posted by vidur on Jun 14, 2011 - 59 comments

Short Films Against Global and Social Injustice

In 2009, Ctrl.Alt.Shift, the "youth initiative of Christian Aid," held a national competition in the UK for aspiring filmmakers aged 18 to 25. Their mission: create a short film treatment based around three key issues: "War + Peace," "Gender + Power" and "HIV + Stigma." The results were then screened to an audience at the 2009 Raindance Film Festival. The films: 1000 Voices, HIV: The Musical, Man Made, No Way Through and War School. (All YouTube links. Vimeo links and descriptions of each film are inside this post.) These films deal with adult subject matter and may be disturbing for some viewers. Some may also be nsfw. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 24, 2011 - 3 comments

Down and out in Toronto and New York

Down and out in Toronto and New York: Freelance film critic Steven Boone recounts his experiences with the soup kitchens of Toronto and New York in First rate, second rate: In and out of the soup kitchens of Toronto and New York
posted by Harald74 on May 3, 2011 - 7 comments

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