June 3: #13: Make a small donation to a charity of your choosing
June 3, 2017
Phil: When I first read this challenge, I felt like I was already prepared to make my donation. Since the ridiculous election season we just wrapped up, and the subsequent victory of He Who Shall Not Be Named, I have been much more dialed into the donation game than I had been in the past. At the very least, I’ve just been more vigilant about where my money goes. That being said, I went into today assuming I’d likely be giving a donation to something journalism-related, be it the Committee to Protect Journalists, ProPublica, or the Society of Professional Journalists. But I think I came up with a better idea that’s still in that ballpark but more in line with what I feel I owe to the field right now. Back in February, I started teaching journalism 101 as an adjunct at Queens College, and for the last class of the semester, I was lucky enough to snag an old college friend who also works in the field to come speak to my students. TJ Raphael came and fielded questions at 9 a.m. on a Saturday morning for nothing more than the satisfaction of knowing she was helping aspiring journalists gain perspective on the kind of work we do. I promised her coffee, but she had to split to tend to much more pressing matters -- a recently relocated pup who required walks and fun. I won’t argue with that. Anyway, she works in public radio - WNYC - for a show called The Takeaway. Her kind of work is not for profit and relies largely on public donations, so I thought this would be a great way for me to express my gratitude for her time in my class. So today, I gave a small donation to help pay her paycheck and keep public radio strong. Thanks TJ.
Bruce: I was really excited about the prospect of this challenge especially as an open task for people to participate in hoping we could collectively make a difference! Through people like Tim Ferriss and Sam Harris whose podcasts and work I am enamored with, I found out about www.givewell.org an organization that helps people to know what charities are most effective and our most honest about where their money goes… I ended up giving to the "against malaria foundation" which was one of their most recommended charities. I decided on donating enough money to purchase five insecticide infused nets to prevent the lethal spread of malaria. I didn't realize that malaria is collectively responsible for more deaths in human history than anything else. Sam Harris, whose opinion I trust about most anything, also opts to donate to them monthly. I don't have a ton of money, but I try my best to often crowdfund artists and projects since I know and appreciate the struggle. Admittedly in my starry eyed creative enthusiasm bubble, I don't contribute enough to “real world” higher-urgency issues, I'm grateful to this challenge for the opportunity to change that up and I felt good about that. Challenge yourself to change the world and change yourself to challenge the world!
Tomorrow's challenge: #21: Read a short story from an author whose work you've never read before.