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Sustained Committment to Giving

February 11th, 2013
giving

Julia wrote this about ten years ago:

It's easy for me to buy a milkshake at Bev's if I'm in Carytown. But if I were living in Bolivia and that two or three dollars could help my little sister pay school fees, would I still buy the milkshake? Of course not. At the end of the year that two dollars goes to Save the Children instead. The hardest thing is remembering the kids in Bolivia when I'm in Carytown. It always makes me feel like yelling or crying when my roommate tries to talk me into going with her to the ballet or opera, because I don't know how to explain to her that the money for that ticket isn't really mine—it should really belong to someone who needs it, and I have to give it to them.
I didn't know her then, but it's interesting to look at how her thinking has changed and how it hasn't. Save the Children is no longer the charity of choice, replaced by GiveWell's top pick, mostly because of thinking about effectiveness. The conflict about how to talk to other people about giving is still there, though reduced by having a single-topic blog and a meetup group. Money for spending is now separate from money for donating, which means no longer using dead child currency. But the understanding that there are people who need our money more than we do and the commitment to help are constant.

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