These days everyone wants to be a part of some kind of charity, we donate over the phone, via the internet, by entering raffles in shopping centres and dropping coins in tins as we walk past collectors. There are so many worthy causes and it’s great to give to those in need but a lot of the time it’s so impersonal and we don’t know where half the money goes.
If you sponsor a child with World Vision and pay $50 (AU) a month you’d like to think all that money goes directly to the cause, it bothers me that so much is spent on sending brochures and update packages to the donator. It’s great to hear of the progress in the third world country and to know how your money is helping to make changes but there is no reason why it should come on coloured card with stickers and photos. It just goes to show that even when we’re donating we expect to be given something in return and if we don’t they’ll give it to us anyway, somehow making what should be a selfless act into a transaction.
This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to a cancer benefit that did it right, it was put together by a local organisation, JS Music Studios, to help raise funds for a member of their community who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately the treatment he needs is not covered by medicare or his health fund, and so a group of musicians and close friends organised a benefit to help out.
Tickets were $30, food was provided, games and raffles were arranged while eighteen musicians made up seven acts, took to the stage and brought the atmosphere alive. It was an amazing thing for these people to do not only for the man diagnosed with cancer, who was there to greet people and participate in the evening, but also for all those invited. There was an amazing sense of celebration, everyone was having a great time and enjoying the live music. There was a very approachable dance floor and the crowd included people from all ages and walks of life. Once the scheduled bands had completed their sets people were encouraged to be involved in an open jam session. Some of the more talented musicians taking to the loudest instruments while people in the audience helped with percussion.
It’s pretty touching to see so many people come together and help someone they care about, all of the money donated went directly to the cancer treatment and in return the people involved were able to spend some quality time amongst talented and passionate musicians. Congratulations to everyone who participated.