Can MacRumours sponsor a child?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Abstract, May 12, 2007.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #1
    Can MacRumours sponsor a child from a 3rd world country?

    Lets say that "somehow", the 1.2 billion people who seem to join MR each month (ok, maybe like 200 semi-regular active members in total) found a way to donate a whopping $1 or $1.50 a day to sponsor a child living in poverty. Would you be interested?

    I thought about it and thought it was a good idea. I don't know how we'd actually collect all the money, or who'd be responsible for handling the $0.01 it may cost each active member, each day, every day, but surely it'd be possible. Of course we'd just take lump sum donations from members and hope it lasts the year, but you get my point.

    Imagine a child sending an internet site a holiday card and school grades from a child.......weird, eh? :p "Dear www.macrumors.com, ...."
     
  2. lamina macrumors 68000

    lamina

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    #2
    That's a fantastic idea.

    Maybe we could have a pool of folks who donate say $1 or $5/month... whatever they can afford to a child in a 3rd world country. Heck we might even be able to sponsor a school or something over there if we get 10 people donating.
     
  3. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #3
    I think that it would be a good idea, and you probably could collect the money the same way that the fees for being a Demigod/goddess are collected.
     
  4. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #4
    Count me in. Let's sponsor 10 of them so we're sure to get at least one Mac user in the bunch.
     
  5. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #5
    I could certainly donate $1/mo. :)

    Good thinking, Abstract!
     
  6. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #6
    Well, that $1 or $1.50 a day was meant for the entire board. I hope I implied how simple and cheap this could be in terms of cost per person (who wants to voluntarily participate). Even if we only got 20 members to participate, we're talking around $0.05 per day to sponsor a child. Peanuts, really.


    Ah, lets NOT sponsor 10 children. Here's Part II of Abstract's crazy plan: Yes, sponsoring 10 children would be great, but these children live in a world where computers are considered almost "magical" in what it can do. Think about it: We're an Apple message board. Surely our donation could be somehow Mac-related?

    IDEA #2: Somehow, through some clever (optional) fundraising way, we raise enough money to send a Mac (Mac Mini, MacBook, cheapo edu iMac, etc) to the child, or the school the child attends. Booyah, we've got ourselves a new Mac user! Fundraising may end up being a slow, 2 year process, but it can easily be done. We could even tie it to the $25 MR contribution!!! Instead of contributing $25 to MacRumours, you're given the option of contributing $25 like you always do, or contributing $30, where the extra $2 goes towards the child, and the extra $3 goes towards the computer.

    Just a brain fart. Ignore the smell if you don't like this idea. :eek:
     
  7. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

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    #7
    It's not a bad idea, but... and this is just my opinion... I pretty sure they would rather have necessities like food, clothing, and shelter more than a Mac.
     
  8. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Ok, how about $4 goes towards the child, and $1 goes towards the computer. :p

    Ok, or we could scrap the idea regarding the Mac. Besides, a Dell running Linux is much cheaper.

    Anyway, about child sponsorship: We can always take donations from people who don't have any intention of becoming contributors (ie: demi-god/demi-goddess) here. It's not just for people who contribute financially to this site. We could sponsor 2-3 children if we had enough participation and will. But remember that each child will probably "cost" $1 per day to sponsor, which is $365 per year. I wouldn't really want to sponsor a child, then later find out that we don't have enough involvement from people here.

    Once you start sponsoring a child, can you really take it back and stop your sponsorship? I'd feel horrible. :eek:

    Maybe starting with 1 child is easier?
     
  9. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #9
    Could you tell more about this whole "adopt a child" thing?

    All I know is that I see formerly-famous people on TV telling me to do it, which makes me highly distrustful of the entire operation.

    That said, I think it would be a wonderful idea to use MR to raise funds for a charity (or a few charities). Problem will be getting folks to agree on where money should be donated. Which means that somebody (points at Abstract) needs to be large and in charge of the project, etc.

    I love the idea of raising money to donate iMacs to schools. There are a million other places and people (and pets) that need funds. I think as long as the organization to which we're donating is carefully researched (with all information available to all potential donors -- transparency would be vital), it's a great idea that could eventually transform into a "charity of the quarter" kind of activity.

    :)
     
  10. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

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    #10
    Sponsoring a child is a good idea, but the whole concept can be a little midleading. According to World Vision and most other child-sponsoring organisations, it only costs $1/day to sponsor a child. Yes, that's actually what they charge you, but in reality $1/day just isn't enough money to support a child, even in a developing nation. We're talking about providing food, shelter, education, healthcare, and personal support. It's actually more like $5/day at the bare minimum, and it's midleading to tell people they're saving a child with only $1/day.

    BTW, I have big beefs with World Vision and most other development/child-saving organisations ;)

    As far as child sponsorship goes, there are some good ones out there. Check out SOS Kinderdorf...they are a very responsible organisation and don't have any ulterior motives besides just helping children and communities.

    In fact, if the real goal here is to actually try to make a difference throuth MacRumors, sponsoring a child may make you feel warm and fuzzy inside but there are more effective ways to help. For example, it can be more effective in the long-term to support the development of local economies through microcredit programs or even just developing sustainable infrastructure.

    If this pans out, just pick your organisation carefully :) Great idea, Abstract!
     
  11. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #11
    So WorldVision = bad idea? Why? How much of our money would go towards the children we're trying to help?


    What if we took up another cause, say an environmental one? They always seem a bit dodgier to me, but if there's a good one, we could decide on donating to another organisation rather than one that sponsors children.

    I still like the idea of donating some sort of computer away because while food, clothing, and shelter are necessities, I never said we'd cut those out. The computer thing would be different. For these children, a computer would allow them to do see things they have never dreamt of seeing. The whole "one laptop per child" thing that happens in US high schools (and that's supposedly ending in many locations in the US) would totally work better in a country where computers and the internet AREN'T so commonplace and widespread.
     
  12. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #12
    I would be interested, with one proviso; I can make one yearly payment. I have a hard time remembering monthly payments. Almost all of my few recurring expenses are on auto-pay. But, my credit union has a minimum amount they will set that up for. I would do $25-$50 per year, paid in advance.

    Very fine idea, Abstract!
     
  13. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

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    #13
    I don't really get it, to be honest.

    Sure, MR could sponsor a child, perhaps as a percentage taken from member contributions to the site and also as a percentage of ad revenue. Hell, it could sponsor serveral.

    Or, it could drive a campaign for us all to subscribe to an existing organisation and each sponsor a child. Or, if we can't afford a whole child, just the important bits like eyes and ears.

    But I don't think MR can act as a proxy, taking contributions from us and then sponsoring (children?) under one banner. For a start, not everyone is going to contribute... yet they form part of the MR voice?

    Good intentions.
     
  14. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #14
    You mean 1 in 20, we still only have a 5 percent marketshare:D
     
  15. mpw Guest

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    #15
    What's in it for us? I mean even on a rota it's only gonna be able to do my lawn maybe once a century or something?
     
  16. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

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    #16
    It's not really about the money, but more about how they operate in general. I understand that the vast majority of their members and supporters are philanthropic folks who just want to help, but the path to Hell is paved with good intentions ;)

    Without even addressing the blatant conflict of interest present in faith-based aid organisations, most aid and development organisations just don't get it. You can't just walk into a problem and throw money at it to make it disappear. You can't expect the problem to go away without understanding the issues and educating your supporters about the root causes.

    To use World Vision as an example again (mainly because they are the most visible), just remember the last World Vision commercial you saw on TV. Did you feel depressed after watching it? Their commercials and fund-raising tactics seem to focus more on guilt-tripping money from people than focussing on actually making people care. Their ads are also misleading in that they portray developing nations in extremely negative light, which is far from the truth. Notice how the only images they show of troubled spots are black and white? It's all about the marketing, with little to no regard for the fact that a lot of people are actually living happy lives in these developing nations. Fact is, their marketing strategy is degrading to entire societies and misleading their supporters.

    A dollar a day will not save a child. World Vision chose to market that figure simply because it sounds better than reality. I won't even get into how child sponsorship programs can foster bad blood and sentiments of inequality among youth and create sharp divides in communities.

    World Vision's support of Food Aid is also extremely troubling and reveals a fundamental lack of understanding of the real issues here. Google for "food aid" and click "I'm Feeling Lucky" for a short introduction to the problems with Food Aid.

    What about building schools and hospitals? Digging wells? Unfortunately, most of these projects just end up wasting money that could be better spent. Many development organisations build all sorts of neat things for communities, but the problem is that they don't support them properly. When it comes to water access, people think building a well will solve all the problems. An organisation will show up in a needy village, build a well and then leave weeks later, never to return. What happens when nobody is taught how the well works or how to maintain it? What happens if it gets contaminated? What happens when something breaks and the people have no access to replacement parts? Wasted time and effort is what happens, with the locals right back to where they started, if not worse off now that they've become dependent on the well. Even well projects that are run responsibly can run into counter-intuitive problems when a well just doesn't fit with the local culture.

    I could rant on for pages and pages about problems with most development and aid organisations, but I think I'll cut it here for now. For some great insight into what's actually going on, I highly recommend reading the blogs of overseas workers involved with Engineers Without Borders (the Canadian organisation, that is...the American version suffers from many of the problems described above). My old roommate was placed in Ghana last summer so here's a link to his blog while he was there. There are plenty of links to other workers available on his page too.

    Environmental support is cool too, but again, you've got to be careful who you pick ;) Especially if you want to get the whole MacRumors community involved, picking a controversial organisation (like Greenpeace or Sea Shepherd) wouldn't be the smartest thing to do, haha.

    Donating computers and technology is fine too, just make sure it's appropriately applied. Some cultures just aren't ready for computers, nor do they have the technological infrastructure to do anything useful with a computer. It would be folly to think that everyone in the world aspires to live as we do in "first world nations".
     
  17. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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  18. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #18
    Im from a third world country, mind sponsoring me???

    this could be sarcasm if you think so, take it lightly.
     
  19. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    Why the change of heart? Or was that sarcasm?
     
  20. someguy macrumors 68020

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    I'm guessing partly sarcasm with a slight chance of frustration. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Mammoth macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    My cell phone service is 4th world, mind sponsoring me?


    But what do you mean "Can MR sponsor a child?" Do you mean members donate a bit towards sponsorship, or the MR admins take some of the revenue and use it?
     
  22. elfin buddy macrumors 6502a

    elfin buddy

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    #22
    Frustration is a good start. It's a key step in realising just how convoluted the problem of world poverty really is. The trick is to overcome that initial frustration and turn it into a personal drive to make a difference.

    I'm frustrated too. I'm frustrated that I spent about a hour typing that out (I chose my words carefully), and the only response I got was sarcasm.

    Abstract, you started this thread wanting to make a difference in some small way. Why? Just ask yourself that and try to distil the most fundamental reason. No need to share it with the group unless you want to, as it is an inherently personal question.

    Look, I'm not trying to turn anyone off from the idea of sponsoring children or donating to aid and development organisations. Those are great things to do and are indicative of the desire to bring about change. I'm just pointing out the need to think long and hard about how to help, so that resources are used most effectively and as little money as possible gets squandered. I'm hesitant to just type out a list of "good" organisations because it just brings us back to the same problem of people wanting to help but not caring enough to make sure that they know what they're actually doing.

    Anyway, **** it. Seems this is all falling on either deaf or indifferent ears.
     
  23. someguy macrumors 68020

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    #23
    You were doing good up until this point.

    Obviously Abstract wants to help anyway he can, but can you blame him (or anyone) for being ignorant to a degree about the best way to go about doing so?

    It seems to me that you yourself has yet to master the trick of turning frustration into personal drive. Practice what you teach, elfin buddy, and point us in the right direction. Also, please take into consideration that most of us here want to help, but are not necessarily qualified to take part in the decision making process.

    Perhaps I'm speaking only for myself here, but I have no interest in figuring out how to go about helping out. I just don't. That is a job for someone more knowledgable on the subject *hint hint*. I represent the group of people, which I believe to be the majority but I could be wrong, that only want to know where to send the money and how much to send. From there it is only a matter of affordability, and unfortunately I know I am part of the majority that is broke as f*ck.
     
  24. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #24
    So, if sponsoring one child is a bit complicated... how much must be raised to actually build and fund a school somewhere...

    Wouldn't the N'Boutu* MacRumors Elementary school be awsome...? :cool:

    Isn't it easy to set up a PayPal fund-raising...?

    * Not a real place, and if someone's offended: Lighten up ;)
     
  25. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

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    #25
    I think it's a lovely idea. Please do go ahead and do it.

    I do agree about being careful about which charity.

    I happen to know rather a lot about the UK deaf charity scene, and the largest and most successful one in the UK is hated and detested by a large number of the deaf UK population. They do do some good work (I have one of their deaf staff in my living room at the moment using my spare ibook :) ) but the upper management have done many things that have had a severe negative effect on the deaf community.

    Surprise, surprise, their advertising is based on showing deaf people as pitful, incapable, and bangs on about how terrible it is not to hear, which pisses me and a lot of people off.

    Back to the point of this thread, I'd like to stick to the original idea of sponsoring a child, or something mac-related, that's where the energy seems to be at, and it was Abstract's idea too.

    Elfin buddy seems to know a fair amount about this field, so I say straight out you pick an organisation, or ask an expert you trust, and relay the answer back to us, and I think the rest of us can get behind that.

    People with questions can always investigate the organisation you name, and it's easier to investigate a single organisation than an entire sector.

    How's that?
     

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