Hi all –
It’s been an interesting week for me as I went from supporting HRC as my candidate for President despite my many, many reservations of her personally, to needing to adjust to a reality in which someone both personally flawed and unqualified for the highest office pulled off a radical win.
While many others took to the streets or cried, I didn’t fully share their sentiment: I’m neither a woman nor generally liberal (although, to be fair, after 14+ years in NY I find myself far more liberal than the small-town values I previously espoused); I was just as sad to vote for Hillary and did so coming from a #NeverTrump position rather than an “I’m With Her” statement; I’ve rarely been a fan of protests just because things didn’t go how I wanted; and most importantly, I didn’t see any practical application or outcome from ‘taking it to the streets.’
I instead thought about what I feared most from Trump, from the elections results, and boiled it down to 2 issues:
- A lack of checks and balances in our FEderation system, which allow for debate and reason rather than extremism; and
- The overt bigotry and racism that accompanied Trump’s campaign, whether or not he himself gave it a knowing nod.
As I discussed this with my co-workers, I decided that my stance to a Trump Presidency would be to both support and rally others to support organizations that offer a check on the federal government, especially related to our civil liberties. My first step was to run this plan past Naomi, and with her buy-in, I made 2 initial recurring monthly donations, one to Planned Parenthood and one to the ADL. We need to discuss some additional orgs, including the ACLU, possibly the NAACP and others.
That took care of me, but I wasn’t going to rest just doing that myself, so I took to Twitter and starting commenting on every tweet that I could find related to some unhappiness with the election result to promote this idea, and included my own name for my movement – #CharityProtest.
The next level for me was to buy the URL charityprotest.org (yup, it’s a thing with a crappy alpha site with placeholders everywhere!), and to reach out to a former co-worker who left UJA to take a UI/UX class at General Assembly and now works on websites to ask for his involvement and partnership in building out the site. We’ve had one discussion so far and I sent him the login and my tentative roadmap to see what he can do with it.
My plan? Offer information on a wide-range of organizations including how to donate to each one; tagging each one so people can eventually sort into rough groups (women’s issues, minorities, environmental, constitutional, etc.); link to other options for donations (goods, volunteering, etc.); a map for local branches of national orgs; scraping either Guidestar or Charity Navigator to offer a rating of sorts on the various charities, and a link to t hose sites for more information; a quiz to assist people in narrowing down to a few options from the many, many possible chairities they might consider, and more!
Is this a report on my stats? Actually, I’m going to say yes…and allow that the how much/by when didn’t generate in the way I predicted. Instead, when the options came for how I wanted to react in in the moment, I trusted my gut and followed through to begin working on a site that I hope will play a major role in supporting and promoting new charity and philanthropy for our generation.
I’m being kind, considerate and generous – spending my time, money and energy to help others, I’m promoting my thoughts and ideas, whether concisely on Twitter, via email with my collaborator, or generally online to explain the reasoning for the site.
I’ve given myself some liberty in writing at length here, but I’ve enjoyed this journaling exercise and I hope I’ve brought you on my journey with me. If anyone has suggestions for the site, I’m all ears!
❤ to all,