This year I decided to try the Facebook application Causes as a way to celebrate. Causes lets you tell your friends that you’d rather have a donation to a charity than a birthday gift. They even provide ways for you to promote your cause, and collect the money on your friends behalf and send it to the charity you’ve chosen.
I selected Oxfam Canada for their relief efforts in Haiti. Oxfam already had people on the ground in Haiti, and my reasoning was simply that the money would likely be put to work faster as a result. They’re currently supplying clean water and housing to 92,000 people in Haiti and need all the help they can get.
I could easily have selected the Red Cross or Unicef, as both of those had people in Haiti as well. The reason for choosing Oxfam’s Canadian arm was simply that Canada’s Federal Government is matching money donated to Canadian charities for Haitian relief. Every dollar turns into two dollars this way.
The campaign has been a bit of a disappointment. I reckoned that if a reasonable percentage of the 2,100 friends I have on Facebook each gave just $10, then thousands could be collected for Haitian relief. We’ve raised $250, including the $50 I seeded the campaign with. With the government match, that adds up to $500.
I’m hoping that since today is my actual birthday, and the last day of the campaign, a few more people will come out of the woodwork. I’d like to get to $1,000 at least. If you’d like to make a $10 donation to help kids in Haiti, then click here. Don’t worry if you don’t use Facebook – just click the big green donate button in the center of the screen and choose the option that says donate without Facebook.
Do it for the kids in Haiti. Or because I asked. Or, failing that, because I’m sure that Lewis Carroll and Mozart both would have approved too.