A religion-free way to help disaster victims.
Like thousands (I assume) of Americans, when I first heard of the tragedy in Haiti, I felt a need to help. The obvious solution was to give money to a charity that would be providing aid directly to the Haitian people. But the question was, which charity?
In the first day of the situation, choices weren’t readily apparent. I went with the good old standby: the American Red Cross. Because I wanted my aid to go directly to Haiti and not be used for anyother purpose, I wrote a check, marked it “Haiti Aid”, and mailed it to American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. According to the Web site’s Donate Now! page, this was the best way to ensure donations went to the cause I wanted to help.
A few days passed. Pat Robertson made his asinine comments about the Haitian people having a pact with the devil and then had the nerve to start collecting money to help them. It made me sick. I wish there was a hell just so these self-serving, religious fanatics could rot there.
I wanted to give more to help the Haitian victims, but I certainly wasn’t about to donate to any charity that was in any way related to any religious organization. The Clinton Foundation was one very good option. So was the International Red Cross. And Doctors without Borders.
But another one came to light this morning: Non-Believers Giving Aid. This organization is sponsored by Richard Dawkins and serves two distinct purposes:
- To send 100% of donated funds directly to two non-religious charities giving aid in Haiti: Doctors without Borders and International Red Cross.
- To provide an easy conduit for the non-religious to help those in desperate need, while simultaneously disproving that you need God to be good.
As the Non-Believers Giving Aid home page declares:
Preachers and televangelists, mullahs and imams, often seem almost to gloat over natural disasters – presenting them as payback for human transgressions, or for ‘making a pact with the devil’. Earthquakes and tsunamis are caused not by ‘sin’ but by tectonic plate movements, and tectonic plates, like everything else in the physical world, are supremely indifferent to human affairs and sadly indifferent to human suffering. Those of us who understand this reality are sometimes accused of being indifferent to that suffering ourselves. Of course the very opposite is the truth: we do not hide behind the notion that earthly suffering will be rewarded in a heavenly paradise, nor do we expect a heavenly reward for our generosity: the understanding that this is the only life any of us have makes the need to alleviate suffering even more urgent.
Thus, I sent my second contribution for Haiti Earthquake Victims to Non-Believers Giving Aid, with an equal split between the two non-religious charities they support.
I’m pleased to hear that so far over $180,000 has been raised by this organization — an average of over $35 per donor.
Have you given a charitable contribution to help the people of Haiti? Tell us about it in a comment on this post. If you haven’t done so yet, please do consider it. An amount as small as $5 can really help make a difference.
Just please — don’t send it to Pat Robertson.