Viral Video Charity & Trendy Hashtag Causes

ice-bucket-challenge-e1408505819382Anyone remember Kony 2012? Or was it 2013? Invisible Children Lately? Or specifically, the Ice-Bucket challenge of 2014?

I am very glad that the internet makes it easier to raise awareness (or money) for an issue.

Next month, there will be a new viral video, and in ten years VHI will have a special with celebrities talking about the Ice Bucket thing. They did good, they raised awareness. They raised money. Maybe there is more work to be done. As for myself, no thank you.

Sometimes at the mall, a person with a clipboard will ask me if I want to help protect the earth, or whatever. I tell them I already am. Maybe not in the precise manner they advocate. Those who know me, will understand what I have done in this area, and I don’t want to brag about being eco – ma – logical.

I am certainly no Saint, no Dorothy Day. I have committed  at times to giving 10% of my vow of poverty stipend toward some cause (Sometimes it has been New Media Evangelization, Hip Hop, and of course my favorite children’s home in Tijuana). I give proceeds from my own hip hop music to charity. The Religious Community I live with gives money to charity. I really don’t want to go into detail about this.

Neither do I want to go into detail about my life given over to service. It is genuinely unremarkable, and quite ordinary.

I do not believe that Jesus is calling me to CURE EVERY DISEASE, RESTORE EVERY SINNER, FEED EVERY POOR PERSON, DONATE TO EVERY CHARITY. I believe that Jesus is really calling me to Love a few people that I meet, rather than “love” a cause.

I am not against people giving money for whatever is trendy to give to at the moment. I highly encourage people to consider Disaster Relief when it arises. Unfortunately, the bandwagon mentality of giving money to the trending hashtag cause makes it difficult for charity to actually become a developing relationship, one in which the poor enrich us.

I also find it highly problematic when people (often pro-life) will steal a trendy hashtag or viral video meme, and switch it around for themselves. It doesn’t make them look better or help their cause by hijacking someone else’s creativity.

So, if you are already committed to giving time in service to a community, a cause or a charity, (or even money), then feel no guilt in declining to participate in an ice bucket video, a trendy hashtag cause, or whatever. I won’t. You shouldn’t either.


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