While I was doing some research on my latest idea for something to mock on a t-shirt, I came across Eat So They Can (ESTC).
Eat So They Can is an international fundraiser that invites citizens of the world to participate in what is collectively one huge dinner party; where something as simple as sharing a meal with friends can help stop child poverty.
So… Eat So They Can is an annual fund-raising event to raise money to feed starving children (no my next t-shirt will not mock starving children). I think raising money to feed starving children is a noble cause, but do they not see the sick irony that they are hosting dinner parties to raise money for starving children?!?! How do you tell the starving children where the money came from? “Well, all over the world people got together with friends and family, stuffed their faces with more freshly cooked food than you have seen in your lifetime, and dropped some money in a box. Enjoy your rice, beans, and sugar.”
In 2007 Eat So They Can raised $37,000, and fed just under 3000 children. That is all well and good, but I have a few questions. How much more food could have been bought if the money spent on the dinner parties was instead donated to buy food? Why is this only an annual event? Couldn’t more be done if parties were hosted more often? Why is there a grand prize drawing for a luck party host, and why isn’t the money for that grand prize trip instead spent on food for children? Is this really an event to raise money for starving children, or is this an event so you can feel good about yourself because you raised money for starving children? How can I tell if their motives are pure if there are selfish questions in their FAQ like “Does the host contribute a donation as well, or just the guests?”, “What makes me eligible for the Grand Prize?”, and “As a host, can the GVN Foundation reimburse me for money I spent to host the party?”
I hate to be critical of what seems to be a good cause, but something just rubbed me wrong. Give money to feed children because you care, not because of “clever” marketing, and not to make you feel good about yourself. Do not give because people tell you we can stop global hunger/poverty. Collectively billions of dollars are given every year to stop global hunger and poverty and it still exists today. Give because your heart hurts for that child that goes to sleep night after night with an empty stomach, and as if it were your own child you would do whatever you were able to do so they could sleep in peace for at least one night. Most importantly give to a charity that will feed them physically and spiritually.