Wednesday, December 16, 1998

The Do Donate Fribble

by Selena Maranjian (

I don't know what came over me when I penned my last Fribble, urging all our readers to not contribute to our charity drive. Maybe I downed a bad bowl of Lucky Charms that morning. (If that's possible.) Maybe I have some multiple personalities I haven't met yet.

In any case, I'm happy to report that I'm now back to my senses, ashamed of what I did, and ready to make amends: by convincing you that you should contribute -- even if only a dollar or two. I don't agree with the grouches I cited in that last Fribble, but with the likes of Mark Twain:

"Always do right - this will gratify some and astonish the rest."

So let the persuasion begin. Here are some reasons why you should consider donating:

1. Contributing just a dollar or two should be pretty painless -- we give you many ways to do so: by mail, by phone, by fax, by credit card securely online, by donating stock.

2. If you're inclined to not chip in because you already donate to other causes in other ways, we understand. But it does make a difference if you donate to our Share Our Strength campaign. If you feel that you're part of our online community, please consider donating even just a very small amount, so that you can be counted. We'd like to show ourselves and the world what our merry band of Fools can do when they join together. There are hundreds of thousands of us out there. If we each contribute just a few dollars, we can raise millions of dollars.

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness
in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on
to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds,
to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his
widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish
a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."
-- Abraham Lincoln

After all, here in Fooldom, we are working on something that we have yet to finish. One of our missions is to make the world a better place, by teaching people about investing, by helping level the playing field for individual investors, by championing the good and debunking the silly (like lotteries). What could be more Foolish than helping people who are down and out get back on their feet, by giving them work skills and a hope for a secure future? Once they're working and earning, they might even join us in the stock market.

3. The cause that our drive benefits couldn't be much more worthy. Share Our Strength isn't just a random charity we picked out of a directory with our eyes shut. We settled on it after a lot of research, and it addresses the most vital human crises: poverty and hunger. We've met and continue to meet with its director and employees. We love the fact that it's so darn efficient, wringing as much as possible out of every dollar donated for its program work. Just poke around its website and see if you aren't impressed.

One more appealing aspect of SOS's work is that they're not just about feeding the hungry. They also help train people so that they will be more employable and ultimately able to feed themselves. Eva Per�n said it best, when she explained:

"Almsgiving tends to perpetuate poverty; aid does away
with it once and for all. Almsgiving leaves a man just where
he was before. Aid restores him to society as an individual
worthy of all respect and not as a man with a grievance...
Charity separates the rich from the poor; aid raises the needy
and sets him on the same level with the rich."

4. The time is right. Right now.

"Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment."
-- Jean de La Bruy�re

"Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present."
-- Albert Camus

According to share Our Strength:

Almost 14% of the U.S. population - approximately 36.5 million people - live below the poverty level, 40% of poor Americans are children.
(U.S. Census Bureau, 1997)

40% of the homeless population are children.
(National Coalition for the Homeless, 1997)

The U.S. poverty rate is twice the average rate of other industrialized countries.
(Bread for the World, 1997)

5. Because giving is a win-win proposition. The recipient gets much-needed aid. The donor gets a little peace of mind that he or she is doing something. James Joyce adds:

"While you have a thing it can be taken from you...
but when you give it, you have given it. No robber can
take it from you. It is yours then forever when you have
given it. It will be yours always. That is to give."

6. Because it's the right thing to do.

"That best portion of a good man's life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love."
-- William Wordsworth


[Didja know that you can discuss this and any Fribble on our Fribble message board? And there's a Share Our Strength message board, too.]

[This has been another installment of Selena's Fribbles. If you're a glutton for the absurd, check out her archive.]

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