Saturday, September 5, 2009

Care2 Help?

Just a moment ago, I helped feed a child in the Dominican Republic for a month, worked to save an acre of Rain Forest and made a mark against Global Warming which also offset my computer's energy usage for today.

All I did was click my computer mouse.

A few years ago, I stumbled across the Care2 website while searching for e-card greetings. They had some really funny free e-cards and I noticed when I sent a card, the site thanked me for aiding the environment. I thought they meant that by using a computer card I'd saved a tree. But looking deeper I discovered that for every card I sent, a corporation made a donation to save some portion of our environment...or the people of planet Earth.

When I dug a little deeper, I discovered clicking on a few more items would aid additional social causes through more corporate donations. So for a year my "click" went towards saving the Rain Forest, one acre at a time. The site even keeps statistics for you, to let you see a concrete number of how your attention actually aids others. For the past two years, my click was designated to feed a child in a Third World country. With the children's program, you see an actual face and read a profile about the child's life. It's much more personal than merely writing a check to "Charity".

When I went to click yesterday, the site had changed. Updated. New and Improved. And because it was so darn easy, I added "Global Warming" to my clicks. According to the accompanying text, "100% of the donations raised go directly to Carbonfund.org, which supports renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects globally that reduce carbon dioxide emissions and the threat of climate change."

And all I did was click.

Signing up is free. They'll even let you sign up for free daily reminders with a link to your site of choice. And there are plenty of choices. So what's the catch?

I wouldn't call it a catch so much as a lesson learned. Often the group will offer you an opportunity to sign a petition for a worthy cause. Think "Save the Whales" or "Keep our Park lands away from Developers", with a kindly worded message as to the harm such an action could cause. I signed one. Unfortunately what they didn't mention was that they sent a rather warmly worded form letter to my political representative, then added my signature. I had no idea I'd done more than note "me too!" on the petition I'd read until a member of the Rep's office sent me an e-mail explaining how my position was a little over the top. After I sent a "Huh?" reply, the form letter was sent to me. Lesson learned.

So although I stay away from the petitions, I pick causes which I feel strongly about. I can make a difference....using the corporate dollars of environmentally concerned business. And in this economy, that's not such a bad thing.

5 comments:

Susan at Stony River said...

That's interesting; I hadn't heard of Care2 yet. Thanks for the heads-up about the petitions. It's a bit weird (or sneaky to be honester) that they don't show you the letter before you hit 'send'. Bravo to the Representative's staff for responding, at least.

Peggy said...

Hope;

I have also clicked to help the poor, feed the hungry, give mosquito netting to children in Africa.etc. Always wondered about the petitions. So maybe Congress is listening...surprised me.

hope said...

Susan, being the great letter writer that I am, I was a little dismayed over the language used with my name added. I let Care2 know I didn't care for that policy. At that point, I no longer received "Aid us with this cause" petition notices. :) But the rest of it is worth it.

Peggy, it was kind of shock to discover someone in those Rep's offices can actually read. :)

Brighid said...

Would not have considered the problem with petitions, thanks for the headsup. I have been leary of corporate funding of charities by clicking. A few years ago while looking at a retail vendor's site I clicked along to see what they funded, before I clicked to join in. So glad I looked further, they were supporting some very nasty Non-profits. Haven't purchased anything from them since.
Kudos to your Rep's office. Mine is also, and I for one appreciate it.

hope said...

Brighid, as wary as I am of those "looks too good to be true" claims, that one got me. However, I'm the first one to question weird, forwarded e-mails [I love www.snopes.com] and I have the Better Business Bureau bookmarked so I can check charities and see exactly HOW MUCH of those dollars go to aid vs. CEOs.

Have a great weekend!