It’s Giving Tuesday, Donate Wisely

Something is not sitting well with me.

I’ve bitten my tongue for a while, but I saw something yesterday that pushed me over the edge with this situation so now I’m going to call it out. I’m sure some people will want to say that I’m bitter, angry, crazy, mean, jealous, or come up with some way to turn this situation around on me, and that’s fine. I’ve run this by quite a few people who think it’s complete bull-poo, so here goes.

Over the summer, a Go Fund Me was set up for someone I know. Her child fell ill out of nowhere and was in and out of the hospital for about a month. This child seems to be doing fine now. I am sure it was extremely scary and traumatic and I’m glad he’s doing better.

The Go Fund Me made it seem like this sudden medical issue was putting a financial strain on the family. Donations were collected to help with medication, doctor and hospital bills, and therapy the child may need at home. I gave $100. My friends each gave $25 or $50. I think we were pretty generous considering we don’t know this family very well. It tugged at my heartstrings, the child is about the same age as Kyla, what if it was my kid and we didn’t have insurance or couldn’t afford treatment? I would want people to help. So I gave, as did many other people.

Is it wrong then to feel like we were taken advantage of when 3 months later the family is suddenly going to amusement parks every weekend and just booked a cruise? And they paid for it, because the details of the “great deal” were discussed on Facebook.

So your family is struggling and needs to ask for money for medical bills but you can afford a cruise? I sure as hell can’t afford a cruise right now.

Does anyone think that before asking other people for donations they should sacrifice their own lifestyle or vacation to take care of their own medical bills? Or is that just not how we do things these days?

The Go Fund Me thing has just gotten out of control. Anyone who has anything go wrong in life thinks they are entitled to donations.

I donate to stuff here and there throughout the year as I see fit. Usually I don’t even tell anyone about it and a lot of times I just do it anonymously. I’m not saying I am giving thousands, but when something strikes me and I think it’s a worthy cause, I’ll give a little. This experience is going to make me think twice, and maybe three times, before I do it again.

Yes, I take full responsibility for making an emotional decision to give when I should have kept my money for my own family. Lesson learned. It’s not a good lesson though. Nobody likes to feel they’ve been taken advantage of. Nobody likes to feel like they gave to help a struggling family only to realize that family is better off than you are.

If it was stated up front that the money would be used to pay medical bills so the family could still use their savings to go on vacation, totally fine… But making it seem like the money was needed to take care of the child’s medical needs when in fact the family has plenty for vacation is just plain wrong. Twist it, make excuses for it, manipulate it, justify it, turn it around on me and the other people who feel they were misled, this was not right. And to be bragging about how much fun you’re going to have on a cruise you paid for just 3 months after collecting donations from your friends, neighbors, and even strangers, is just ballsy and in very poor taste.

I’ve seen Go Fund Me accounts set up for all kinds of ridiculous reasons, and those are the ones most of us don’t bother with. This one was set up to help a struggling family pay medical bills. I did not give $100 for you to be able to put a down payment on a cruise, I gave because as a mother I thought if I was struggling to afford my child’s medical treatments I would hope people would help me too.

Moral of the story, this family did not need my money.

So that’s my rant.

Choose wisely.

Give, but make sure you know where your money is going and who it is going to and what they’re going to use it for… so you don’t end up feeling like a sucker.

 

 

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