What drives someone to crowdfund? What makes a person effectively go out and beg to strangers to meet some goal? At this time, let me own up that I have a crowdfunding account and I am seeking help. I didn’t take this step lightly, I thought long and hard, weighed up the pros and the cons. I found having to ask for money to help me with a medical issue extremely embarrassing. It’s a big shame job, that I need help and have for a while, because my medical expenses are so big. It’s hard to admit that and it’s hard to always be struggling to pay everyday bills and then the never ending medical bills.
If I found it hard, how do other people feel about it? I feel sad when I see people raising funds for life saving surgery, or ongoing medical costs or emergency surgery. I feel so sad that people need to do that, that someone’s health and wellbeing is dependent on a bank balance. Just have a look at any social media platform and you see the call for help. What kind of a world do we live in where your life is measured by your bank balance, where medication is out of reach for many, and paying for a specialist is out of the question?
I have seen Aboriginal Communities calling for help to rebuild items after floods or fires, there are football clubs seeking help, because they are in a poor area and want as many kids playing as possible. I see calls for money to help ol’ mate get to an ANZAC day parade or Remembrance Day reunion to see his mates before they all die. I see all these and others. These I understand, you want to rebuild your Community but need help, I want to watch kids play sports and if by crowdfunding a club can reduce the fees to families, I think that’s great. I also like the idea of helping a person be it an old digger or the lady who has worked tirelessly for her community to be able to get to see their old friends or see a musical in a city they have never been too. I believe in paying back into your community to help.
I must admit I get cranky when I see crowdfunding calls to help a couple have their dream wedding or honeymoon. Really? Maybe set your dreams to match your budget don’t ask me to pay for a 70-thousand-dollar wedding, or your honeymoon to Hawaii. Same goes for the call to buy a bike, if you are not trying to enter a sport on a serious level, don’t get me to pay for a thousand-dollar deadly treadley just so you can look better than your friends. Come to think of it, don’t clog up my time line with your appeal so you can upgrade your iPhone, or an Xbox. Why should I pay for your frivolities? I give when I can to the medical needs and to support others. I help at my local church and in the community doing clothing or blanket drives and giving to food banks. I believe in paying back and helping others, if I don’t have the money I help in other ways.
You may think that’s a bit rich considering I am using crowdfunding to help pay for surgery that is out of my reach financially and because terminal people don’t really get to go up the waiting lists. But, I will give to a needy community, the school that must replace vandalised items, the local sports club, trying to make the financial burden easier on parents so the kids get to play and the person struggling to stay alive and live a relatively healthy life. If you are a sick kid wanting the Xbox because you can’t go out and play that I understand, same as the person who wants to see their favourite band before they die, these I will help, they are not the self-centred pages that I’m talking about.
I think the world had gone awry if a person wanting a PlayStation gets more money and more concern than a person who needs to help to pay for a new kidney. Where are our priorities? When did we become a place, where sick people need to plead for money to pay for medical expenses and yet someone can get more money to pay for a holiday? I have seen on my own timelines on social media a family crowdfunding for their child to go to a national competition, asking for airfares and accommodation for all the family, yet one child is competing, scroll down the page a bit more and I see them proudly posing next to the hole in the ground that will be their swimming pool and photos of the two new cars. How do you justify crowdfunding when you are not cutting back on your own expenses? How can you expect people to give when you are not cutting corners or saving?
Timelines are full of kids crowdfunding to get bikes or play stations or go to Schoolies. What happened to saving up for something? Am I that old and cranky that I think this is a bit rich?
Again, maybe it’s me, but I had thought with the inception of crowdfunding that we had a great way of helping genuine needs be met. Like I said earlier, I give to a medical fund, I do this because I know how it feels to have life kick you in the face and you must seek help. I have spoken to some people who have crowdfunded previously and say it seems to be harder now, as there is so much competition for your money. Unfortunately for those in dire need they have trouble competing with the cutsie couple or the crying kid who wants that bike.