I have wanted to write a post on donations for a while, and the other day something happened that prompted me to sit here and write. I received a message from Breaking the Silence, asking, amongst others, for donations to continue their important work. Breaking the Silence is a great organisation, which collects testimonials of IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) soldiers stationed in the West Bank, thus exposing the brutality of the occupation. My first reaction was to go on their website and donate, then another thought crossed my mind – that they probably have many sources of donations already, and that this is a tight period for me, money-wise, so maybe they will have to do without my support. At the same time, though, I feel bad because donating for me is not only to give money to support a specific organisation, but it is also a way to honor my values.
I still remember that when I posted a request for a donation to support the trip of my son’s class to France (from Jerusalem), a friend was outraged, and wrote me that there are certainly many projects in Palestine that need and deserve money, and a class of “rich” students (because Palestinians that go to an international school in Jerusalem are all but poor, I hear) should not be included in this honorable gesture. I panicked at the beginning because I thought that maybe she had a point, and I should not have “wasted” the opportunity to bother my friends in these times of dire straits, for such a thing. Later, though, I realized that in my search for this kind of support there was much more than the mere intention to have a bunch of kids going to France: what was important for me was to show them that the effort of asking for support is worth the while because people want to help, and obviously to give a group (albeit small) of Palestinians the chance to get out of the occupation and see different scenarios.
I donate every time I can and to any possible cause. Actually, I am a big fan of donations. I believe that donations strongly show that you care about something or somebody, and we all need this kind of trust in our lives. For my birthday, I often ask to donate to a particular project, and whenever I can, I donate a small or big amount to organisations whose work I strongly believe can do a difference in this world. They do not have to necessarily be humanitarian projects – I also donate to make movies, write books, and create other intellectual products that can stir people’s brains and consciences. I donate to help my friend’s children to go on an educational trip or to organise an important get together at their university. I donate to advance the research on cancer, Asperger Syndrom and multiple sclerosis.
At this point you probably think I am very rich 🙂 but I am not. Sometimes I only give 10 euros, but I know that amount, despite small, will go and help to support something I believe in. This is only one of many ways to feel that I am in line with my values – but it is very powerful for me: it makes me feel alive and committed, and makes those who receive my donation happy, which is another important point for me. And now I say good-bye because I want to go and donate!