Need in­deed

The Compass - - Editorial -

If you ever want a hum­bling mo­ment of “there but for the grace of God go I” - or any sim­i­lar sen­ti­ment - take a spin through your local Go­FundMe cam­paigns. Go­FundMe is a busi­ness that runs cam­paigns for those in se­ri­ous need who want to crowd­source funds. The oper­a­tion is fi­nanced by fees de­ducted from in­di­vid­ual donations.

It’s sim­ple enough to see what’s go­ing on around you: go to the web­site, and search your town or city. Usu­ally, the cam­paigns come at you through so­cial me­dia - a friend, or a friend of a friend for­wards you a link, and you de­cide whether you want to help fund the cam­paign.

But you can also see the peo­ple who need help and have few op­tions right in your neigh­bour­hood. And it’s a good les­son in just how lucky you are.

You, for ex­am­ple, might not be try­ing to raise money to help some­one cover thou­sands of dol­lars of da­m­age from the Thanks­giv­ing Day flood­ing in Sydney, N.S. You may not com­pletely en­joy your cur­rent lot in life, but you prob­a­bly don’t have a 13-year-old who has to travel back and forth from Sydney to Hal­i­fax for treat­ment for Hodgkin’s lym­phoma with all the as­so­ci­ated costs and wor­ries in­volved, or have to face the loss of your home and pos­ses­sions in a house fire.

You might have had an aw­ful week­end in Char­lot­te­town, P.E.I., but you’re not de­pend­ing on the kind­ness of oth­ers to help de­fray funeral costs for an­other fam­ily’s child or, in St. John’s or Cor­ner Brook, be try­ing to bring a fam­ily mem­ber’s re­mains home. Mid­dle­ton, N.S.? A cam­paign for a new roof for the town rink. Mount Han­ley, N.S.? Fund­ing for a fam­ily of six who lost their home as a re­sult of a house fire.

The list is al­most end­less: there are peo­ple try­ing to raise funds for travel ex­penses to get a fam­ily to a new job in B.C., to buy spe­cial for­mula for an in­fant with al­ler­gies, to de­fray the costs of trans­plant surgery, to bat­tle can­cer and all sorts of other med­i­cal con­di­tions, to pay for den­tal surgery and as­sis­tive de­vices and even pet surgery.

Some re­quests, of course, are less in­tense: calls to fund travel to fund sports teams or other travel or peo­ple try­ing to raise money for text­books.

Some verge into the triv­ial: re­quests for funds to buy grad­u­a­tion rings, a new phone or even donations for a pizza.

But the more se­ri­ous ones?

Well, you can take a quick skim through those and see that, all around you, there are peo­ple who are prob­a­bly in more dif­fi­cult straits than you are.

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