Thursday, February 27, 2014

When do events take over their causes?

Here's a poser for early in the day: when do events take over their causes/ailments? Allow me to clarify a few things:

I think there are two kinds of events:
  • The local event - a fundraiser for the family of someone with cancer or another ailment for example or for a local charity. The events are run by the people who know the family/organization and are close to them. The participants are mostly their friends with a few others thrown in. The amounts given are dug from deep down in their pockets with the concern for the monthly budget and mortgage payment. Every cent raised is handed over to a happy individual or family who may or may not even have known it was happening. Afterwards the recipient is amazed at the generosity of others and so grateful or the organization is able to continue to help others in the community.
  • The other kinds of events come with media and hype - big fancy commercials and slick ads - to show up many  millions are touched by the disease/ailment/whatever each year and how everything you can do to help this wonderful worthy cause is so important, blah, blah, blah. Your donation/support/participation will help so many other people. The recipients don't really know who raised the money and the participants don't know the recipients. They are just running/riding/'sport'-ing their way to help a worthy cause because they may know someone who might have had the ailment. And they are required to raise a substantial amount of money and provide a credit card number to bill the amounts not raised. They ask their friends and families donations as they feel the pressure to do so.
There is a huge difference between the two kinds of events. While the donors and participants both might feel they are helping a worthy cause, there is a huge disconnect between the two types.

In my mind I am thinking of events like the Pan Mass Challenge which is run by the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and all funds raised are used to fund cancer research and the organized Komen Three Day, Avon Two Day, American Diabetes Association's Rides and all those other big events where no one knows each other and the recipients are far away and unknown. Does the hype and media pressure and obligations of the participants outweigh the cause itself?

I often donate to participants in these events because I know the pressure they are under to raise funds. But I also give to the local events because I care.  Does the event take over the cause because of the disconnect between the participant and the recipient when the media and hype set in? When does money and pressure supersede the cause?

Finally, am I making sense?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think like you Caroline.
I was fighting against a cancer stage 4.I think it is very important that family support to win, because i was very weak;really helped me participate in one group of victims of cancer, so my mood improved, also helped me a lot a medical adviser in advisercancer-diseases.com (they are doctors),this is important .I recomended not surrender, because sometimes the first treatment does not work as me, and sometimes change doctors it is necessary.Read positive thinking books gave me more energy.During my cancer,i changed my diet,now i eat vegetarian organic food(now i not eat meat).I think is a set of things that help me.
Xoxo
Linda