2012 Nonprofit Selection: CARE
One of the organizations I’ll be donating a portion of all sales to is CARE. Their tagline is “Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty”, and much like the Chicago Abortion Fund, they don’t just use a bunch of experts to figure out what people need and what people need to do to improve their lives, they talk to the people whose lives need improving and then they work with them to get them the resources, and the training, and the contacts they need to improve their own lives. It’s not just about teaching a woman to fish, but setting her up to be a fisherwoman.
I’ve been donating money to CARE for years and a few years ago even designed a custom bag for CARE. The sales weren’t as high as I would have hoped, but the experience working with several women at the local CARE office was a great experience and truly helped me become a better designer and a better business person and I was happy to create several bags and donate them for various fundraisers and to thank many donors at the organization.
The last time I did much with the organization was when the flooding overtook the country of Haiti. The people still haven’t bounced back, but one could say that they still haven’t bounced back from the slave trade and rum production of 150 years ago. It’s a country that has not a lot of turmoil and want. But that didn’t prevent CARE from being on the ground providing emergency support and long-term support. And this is what I adore most about the organization. They’re embedded all over the world, within a wide variety of cultures, and they operate the best way that the culture can permit them to operate. Whether it is providing education to the children of prostitutes, or water-cleaning kits to families, or training on how to turn animal dung into safe and free cooking fuel, they’re doing it. They’re great at using what is available and helping people become self-sufficient.
And that’s what I love that any donation I make to the organization has the ability to do, to help people become self-sufficient. Being able to accept temporary charity is one thing, but making it possible so people don’t need it for long and so that they’re in a position where they can help others follow in their footsteps is what will eventually help end poverty, all while helping people maintain their dignity. For without dignity, we are shells of ourselves. Everyone has the right to dignity. CARE recognizes that and works toward that. And I adore them all for doing so.
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