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21 February 2009 @ 01:09 am
Fandom: Charity Begins with Self-Promotion  
When someone says the word charity, the first things that pop into my mind are feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, or animal rescue. In no particular order, some of the groups that spring to my mind include: Habitat for Humanity, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Amnesty International and In Defense of Animals, as well as local food banks and church/civic groups that lend a helping hand to people in need.

As people wonder if they'll still have a job or a roof over their head within the next month; if they can afford their rent or their kid's braces; or if they can stretch their meals until their next paycheck, the need for those with a little extra to share with those without has never been greater. Fans, as a group and individually, have always been willing to come forward and share with others, to try to make a difference. Whether that's meant helping a fan attend a con or helping a fan with medical expenses, we've opened our hearts and, when we can, our wallets.

That's why I'm really boggled by the decision of the com con of Escapade 19. Their long-time charity -- Good Hearted People -- has had to close its doors (which is in itself a sad testament to the state of the economy and that so few people have money to donate), and they were left with attempting to find a last-minute replacement. With food banks closing because of both lack of donations and too many hungry families, with families losing their homes, with so many other humanitarian causes that the con could reach out to, that they have decided that their charity of choice for 2009 is the OTW? Just. No.
Dash O'Pepperpfeffermuse on February 21st, 2009 04:28 pm (UTC)
If OTW had, say, "A Fan in Need" division (where fellow fans could go for stop-gap help in a real-life emergency; or others could nominate a fan who had done a lot for their fannish community but doesn't have the money to attend a major fannish event), then designating them the con's charity of choice would make sense. They do have a connection throughout fandom, and could be a clearinghouse to help spread the word of a fannish whip'round or even to help separate legitimate needs from the con artists.

But right now, the decision is a poor choice.