Guilt porn


My patience ran out when a display ad for Feeding America appeared on my e-mail inbox page.

I am seeing their ads and their public service announcements (PSAs) everywhere.  Like certain other charities, notably Autism Speaks and the Susan G. Komen Foundation, I wind up wondering if they engage in any activity beside fundraising.  In recent years, Breast Cancer Awareness Month had such media saturation it seemed impossible to be aware of anything else.

Feeding America has a television PSA that I normally see three or four times on any weeknight.  That’s no exaggeration.  It shows one sad-looking child after another on a playground, saying, “I wish I were in school.”  “I really wish I were in school.”  “I’ll stay after class.”  “I’ll do extra homework.”

What’s the deal with school?  Why are they so sad?  They’re sad because they’re hungry.  At school they get free lunch and, in many cases, free breakfast.  During summer vacation, those aren’t available.  Feeding America presumes to provide the answer.

I’m not so sure.

I wind up asking, where are these kids’ parents?  Where are their food stamps?  How will Feeding America provide them meals?  In fact, I have no evidence it does.

All I see it does is produce guilt porn.

From the point of view of a recent post about prayer, this is motivationally backwards.  If sad, hungry children is what you “see,” sad, hungry children is what you’ll get.  A different charity I know of, Heifer International, takes the opposite approach.

Heifer equips families with livestock that improve their standard of living.  An ox, not to slaughter, but to plow.  Goats for milk.  Ducks for eggs.

I once donated bees.

Their graphics emphasize how happy people are to have the animal you may provide.

Everyone who can afford to give, can give to the cause or charity he or she thinks best.

Related:  Give from abundance

 

 

 

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