I'm a staunch supporter of many worthwhile causes and, whenever I can, I support nonprofit organizations with contributions of time, energy and cash. More often than not, volunteering has to take the place of money, and I know that both donations are valuable.
But more and more these days, I'm being hit up to make contributions via social media. Many of my friends are participating in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, an activity that I wholeheartedly support. But I simply can't donate to everyone... so how do I choose which friends to support? I applaud their dedication, but sometimes their persistence can be annoying.
My Facebook page and my email Inbox are flooded with requests from political organizations as well. I guess that's my own fault. I've signed online petitions and made minimal cash donations along the way for my favorite candidates or issues, so now they've got me.
Then there are pleas for donations to causes that I know perform good deeds in the world, but are not my particular passions. Rescuing dogs, saving the rainforest, fighting ALS or Alzheimer's...all worthy missions. I feel like a cad when I'm unable to respond to a personal request for support, but that's the reality of a tight budget.
Almost daily I get emails from Planned Parenthood and the Red Cross and veterans' groups and Fuse Washington and the Salvation Army, all with compelling reasons to send just a few dollars to help fund their work.
I know I'm not unique in this situation. Most of us have to wade through piles of solicitations and e-newsletters to get to the email that was actually addressed to us. And visiting Facebook often means scrolling down, down, down to find those few personal tidbits that we really crave, hidden among the links and videos designed to tug at our purse strings.
The real irony of this rant is that I'm responsible for generating very similar noise among my friends. Social media is a great vehicle for promoting events, but I'm sure my Facebook friends get tired of hearing about the next Hootenanny or play production.
So it's a new era, and we just have to learn to tune out the noise that surrounds us daily, and continue to pick our battles conscientiously. That's easier said than done sometimes...
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