No harm done, as I didn't have any money to spend on it anyway, but it had me feeling dejected today because how are we ever supposed to help anyone anywhere. A good campaign gets you all pumped on the idea that mass communications are an effective method of outreach, and then it turns out that good campaigns exist for shady causes, and at the end of the year there will still be evil people doing evil things.
If we can't trust an elegantly crafted YouTube video, who can we trust, right? Well that's when I remembered one of my long-term guilty twinges, because I meant to mention this back before Christmas and suggest it as a Christmas gift for myself or other people who like gifts. Whatever, they still need help:
This cause has nothing to do with the Ugandan victims, or indeed Africa at all. But it's a worthwhile charity and one that I can vouch for personally, because I hung out with the founders back in Oregon. They're a married couple with a young daughter, marvelous people. They really know their stuff and are completely devoted to their work in Mongolia, and their efforts to keep the children there educated have already seen a lot of results.
The site can tell you more (I was a little concerned when I saw how long it had been since it was updated, but when I emailed Jon he told me that the site was still the best way to donate, and obviously, it's active) - what I'm contributing here is my own firsthand knowledge that eduRelief, however small it may be, is legitimate and trustworthy. I've been out of touch for a while, but I know they're currently struggling and I want them to be able to keep up their work.
So, maybe we can't stop evil people from doing evil things. But you start with what you've got, right? Mass communications might surprise us yet.