There are a handful of you who were around last year when I decided that due to the horrendously anti-gay sentiments of the Salvation Army, I would not be donating to them. However, Zinnia Jones just reminded me that I haven’t said anything about what I do instead (not directly, but she posted her own video on the subject and it reminded me).
So, for those of us who want to be charitable this season but don’t want to give to a group that lets people freeze to death for being trans*, might I suggest what I plan to do.
Every time you see a bell ringer, make note of what you would have given them. It only takes a moment to do, and I’m going to see if I can find a widget or something that can keep a running tally of what I’ve got here (suggestions welcome). When the bell ringers have hung up their buckets for the season, make an equivalent donation to a more inclusive charity. Last year the money went to the Zebra Coalition, a charity dedicated to helping LGBTQ youth. This year…who knows? Again, I’m open to suggestions.
Part of what makes the Salvation Army such a powerhouse when it comes to collecting funds is that they make it convenient. You feel good putting a dollar or two into that bucket and you just barely have to break stride on the way to get food to do so. However, sometimes doing the right thing involves a little extra effort. I’m encouraging you all to make that effort this holiday season, keep your change away from the Red Bucket of Bigotry, and find a charity that serves all people equally.