Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Million Dollar Question


You might not know it, but I’m a sucker for websites that will give me short little topic prompts in hopes of finding something that strikes my fancy enough to actually want to write about it.  One such site is Creativity Portal, and I like their prompt generator.  Today, it gave me an option I really liked:  If you were to donate a million dollars to a charity, who would it be and why?

I thought that was an interesting question, not so much because of the question itself, but because it made me actually think for a second.  When I think about winning the lottery or somehow coming into many millions of dollars, I always think about donating money to those who need it, and I always put the American Cancer Society on my list.  But when that thought popped into my head this evening, I paused for just a second.

Don’t get me wrong, if I ever have tons of money to give away, the ACS is going to get some of it for sure.  I lost my mom to that awful disease, but even though that pain follows me year after year, I know my own loss is multiplied by far too many others who feel that pain every single day.  At some point, that has to stop.

But, the prompt made me think about what I would do with the million dollars I would give to “a” charity, not how I might spread it around (which is what I’d really do), and I had the idea that a million bucks might not go all that far in the fight against cancer. 

But, then I thought of another organization that I think does much needed work: the Make a Wish Foundation.  I’m sure you’re familiar with them, but they’re the folks that grant wishes to sick children.  I love the idea that these kids and families get a chance to just be happy for a while.  These are the people who deal with the details of illness and potential death every minute of every day, and I can only imagine the strain that puts on everyone involved.  But whether the child wants a trip somewhere or a video game or to meet a favorite sports star, Make a Wish tries to make it happen, and I think it’s important that those families have a chance to forget about the illness for just a while.  Kids should get to be kids, even if—or maybe especially if—they’re fighting for their life.

Anyway, my understanding is that most of the wishes granted cost less than $10,000, so that means at least a hundred families could be helped with my million dollars.  I’m not sure I could get the same impact through the Cancer Society, so I think my donation would have to go to Make a Wish.

What about you?  Any particular organization on whom you’d want to bestow such a gift?