The art of charity
Each time I pick up a pencil I marvel at how effortlessly the lines seem to flow out. I realize it's a gift. So in turn I made a promise: I'll give away half of what I receive.
See below for a list of causes and charity organizations that I support. If you have a cause you're passionate about, let me know! I'll be sure to donate half the proceeds from your commission towards it.
Everything we give away has an economic impact on the local population which we are trying to help. In crisis situations, it is apt to pour in as much funds and material goods which we can spare to alleviate the immediate situation. However, prolonged giving could end up creating a situation of dependency, and a depression of the recipient's local economy. Buying goods "here" to give "there" creates an increase of demand and jobs here, and unintentionally takes away jobs there.
A charity model circumventing this issue has to do with providing microloans that aid fledgling businesses in poor communities. At best, the businesses succeed and generate jobs and revenue for people in their communities, and your loan is repaid. At worst, the loan becomes a charitable donation. It's a fantastic way to give a gift that could potentially keep on giving.
* Kiva Microloans *
Every day thousands of people lay themselves down to sleep on the sidewalks. No peace could be found in the night for fear of assaults or theft. When it rains, the shelters are full to the brim and cafes unwelcoming. Days turn to months and to years. In despair, many turn to substance abuse: a dual diagnosis, a vicious cycle.
But there is hope yet. There are places offering warmth, meal, and cots. Most importantly, there are case workers willing to help each person with their individual needs; be it family support, job-seeking, mental health, or medical ailments.
Cancer Therapy and Research
Cancer continues to be one of the most major diseases plaguing our generation, and along with thousands of other people I have suffered a personal loss to this disease. It appears to be an inevitable consequence of our increasingly extended lifespans, however, it also can't be helped that each life struggling to survive is worth saving. So the fight continues on, ever hopeful and inspiring.
A January 2006 statistics estimate more than one million living in the world with HIV, and more than half a million victims claimed by AIDS. Beyond the patients themselves, lives of family members and friends are marred. Taboos abound about how one gets the virus, and bullying often occurs for children considered "unclean" by others.
Now a vaccine exists that can prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission. Camps for helping children cope with the illness exist that have brought new-found joy and hope. Throngs of people march down the street raising funds and awareness.
It used to be a death sentence, but now no longer.
* AIDS Walk LA *