04 Oct “No shortage of ways to do good today.”
Much has been written of late about our country’s failings, yet the tragedies of the past month have brought out a groundswell of support for those in pain due to hurricanes, earthquakes, and – most recently – a deranged shooter. While the headlines rightly scream the negatives – lives lost, those forever changed, and homes destroyed, it’s heartening to read about the responses of ordinary people (and celebrities, too) who are pouring out millions of dollars, gallons of blood, and stacks of supplies to help lighten the loads and speed the recovery of people they’ll never meet.
As Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted, there’s “No shortage of ways to do good today.” Crowdfunding site GoFundMe hosts a number of fundraisers for the victims; so far the largest is the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund which, as of early Tuesday, had raised $2,936,877 to “provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting.” Average donation sizes are small, $5 to $25 – with a few in the thousands, but with 40,000 donors, and 182,000 “shares,” they do add up. Meanwhile, one United Blood Services donation site had a line estimated to be three blocks long – with a three hour wait.
Closer to home, ABL Member Avo Ashkharikian, CEO of OrthoEngineering, teamed with Cedars-Sinai cardiologist Ram Dandillaya, MD, to create a grass roots organization, which will supply braces and prosthetics that unfortunately will be needed by many of the severely injured survivors. And, following the initial medical aid and assistance, “The Helpful Hopeful Cause will provide a scholarship program for the children directly and indirectly affected by the tragic shooting.” What’s impressive about this outreach is the speed with which Avo and Ram set up a cause-based site to provide help and hope in the aftermath of this tragic event.
As with the recent hurricanes, social media is playing a critical role in dispensing information about what and where to donate, as well as the financial conduit that GoFundMe.com provides causes with donors. Since 2010, over $4 Billion has been raised through the site, which offers a speedy, secure set up, and a Guarantee that protects donors from fraud, in return for a “platform” fee of only 5% and payment processing fee of 2.9% + $.30 per donation.
Lin’s right, there’s no shortage of ways to do good; and, fortunately for all of us, we’re surrounded by multitudes of people doing good in these times of tragedy.