I’ve been surprised to hear a bunch of hullaballoo about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which, by the way I did. I’ll get to the windstorm in a second but, I’d like to say in hindsight that my friend and colleague Kathryn Heetdirks has a father with ALS and so I’m glad I could honor him with my dunk yesterday. Here’s the video in case you missed it.
Over at Patheos there’s been a lot of talk about how the ALS foundation uses embryonic stem cells in some of their research which is immoral in the eyes of church teaching, and I’ll add in my own. There’s only one study that uses these by the way.
But here’s the thing: You don’t have to support such research with your donation and can direct your funds to other studies.
I mean, who doesn’t know this?
Am I alone in the fact that when I make a donation I do a lot of research and ask a lot of questions about how my funds will be used? I always do this. I do it with my Alma Mater (directing funds to Campus Ministry and the Graduate School of Religion at Fordham). I do it at Canisius (directing funds to the President’s fund who has supported our office tremendously during his tenure here). I do it with other charities/ministries that I fund as well. I ask always “So how would you use my donation?” People like to fund specific things and projects. One of the rules of fund raising is to try to give people some reason to give you money. I suppose some folks just throw their money into a slush fund and let it be directed however the foundation chooses, but I don’t do that.
So I decided that I would direct my funds away from the one fund that uses embryonic stem cells and also give some money to another organization that supports people who have ALS instead of going to research, because that gets ignored. It’s called Compassionate Care and you can find them here.
So here’s a quick lesson in giving. Direct to where you want and don’t let the naysayers drive you away from doing something good. Instead be careful with every donation and ask a bunch of questions, but in all things…be generous and giving.