The Senshi Foundation: Sunsetting

Starting today, The Senshi Foundation is no more. Though, to say that implies that it once was something. I’m not sure it was. I guess it was; whatever it was, though, that will continue, but the name, I’m killing that.

Why? Because it’s over. I no longer have the sort of userbase surrounding me where I can effectively raise money for charitable interests or causes; because I’ve spent the last two years ‘converting’ my ‘fanbase’ into my friends, and I don’t fucking ask for money from my friends. Especially not when most of them are very poor, and struggling.

Look, I’ve been trying to dance around this in both drafts I’ve written of this. Let me just be perfectly honest: No one in power really respected this effort of mine. I’m shuttering the name, but not the cause of good, because LinkedIn decided that I could not list my charity work on my profile. That really hurt my feelings, and it made me look at why I was actually doing the whole “Senshi Foundation” thing.

I was doing it because I wanted to declare some sort of mental ‘ceasefire’ with the world, by simply and plainly advertising my intentions to be a force for good. I wanted to help people, and I wanted to see if I could climb some sort of ladder in the sphere of helping others. I wanted to connect with powerful people, and do some real good together. But that never really panned out.

I guess, in the end, I never really realized my place.

Why? Well, because a lot of charities are not really interested in helping others. RIP Medical Debt, whom I worked with, genuinely wants ot help people, as does Save the Children and St. Jude. Legally I cannot really risk talking about those who only gave a shit about themselves when it came to charity, but, holy shit, my dude. Wow, man, wow. There are a lot of charities who only want to increase their own power through the labor of their volunteers, and that is not what I signed up for.

“The Senshi Foundation” was my Father’s dream, given a name by me. He wanted to help kids. However, after about a year of doing that, maybe two years of some real progress, and two years of nothing really happening, I don’t want to think about it anymore. I honored him in the only way I knew how, and together, through the last four years, we together raised over a quarter of a million dollars for worthy causes. The last total I have is $349,873, but I’m sure it’s a few dozen or maybe hundred dollars more.

The efforts will continue, but, as it stands right now, I cannot rationalize trying to make myself look good through this endeavor anymore. I’ll continue to help people, but there won’t be a public-facing ‘front’ for it any longer. That is not my style, and it has begun to repulse me over the last two years.

What I Learned

Ho boy. First and foremost, I think it will help to know that I’m not going to be naming any names, at least when it comes to people who did ‘bad’ things. However, there is one person that must be acknowledged, and cherished:

My brother, David. Though not legally or genetically-related, my brother David has displayed unparalleled devotion to the cause of helping others — and helping me. Along with his sister, he has pushed The Senshi Foundation’s Folding@Home team, The Space Angels, to rank 451, out of a quarter of a million teams. That is just about the only shining success of the entire charity effort, and it’s the one thing I’m really proud of, even though I had relatively very little to do with it.

Now then: onto the assholes!

When I first started this charity, one of my ‘friends’ tried to co-opt it, claiming it was his idea. He tried to steal my Father’s dream out from under him, as well as take credit for all of the charitable fundraising that other people had contributed to. This was really stupid. Nothing ever came of it, but you can go fuck yourself, River.

A little bit before that, a fundraiser from a charity offered to help me raise money by selling tweets. This is actually against the Terms of Service, but, more than that, this was against my ethical code. Our ‘relationship’ ended that day.

Every time there was a crisis, people began to eye my pseudo-organization, not exactly looking for its support, but looking to use it as leverage against others, or myself. That is to say, if someone were in trouble, people wanted me, and the supposed ‘strength’ of The Senshi Foundation to ‘stand against’ peoplee, or organizations. Basically, they wanted us to serve as a standing army against random assholes on social media. This was really stupid and I never, ever let it happen.

When people think you’re big, they treat you differently, but not that much differently. Heading this ‘big’ ‘organization’, I got a lot of offers from people who were scamming others. They wanted me to help them. I refused.

All-in-all, it has been a bizarre journey that I would not quite call an adventure. But I think that my Father will be happy with the progress that has been made in his name. Strangely, the vast majority of this progress, nearly 99%, if not more, has been due to the works of other people. I would like to profess my sincere gratitude for your help, as, well, it couldn’t have been done without you all.

In the end, I think the lesson learned here is, no matter how great you think you are, the work to make the world a better place is mostly done by large groups of people. Individuals, joining together, for a single positive cause.

But Why?

Ultimately the reason I wanted to end The Senshi Foundation is, even though no money ever passed through any of our hands, fundraising of this order without being a registered public charity scared the living shit out of me. Technically, we were an unregistered 501(c)(3) public charity; but so is any civilian operation where you try to raise money for anything in the short term.

The problem there is, short term: for the first two years, it was okay, but if I had continued, I feared that, even if I didn’t handle any money, I was eventually going to get a knock on my door from the IRS asking what the fuck I was doing.

The answer to this is to simply continue doing what I’m doing, without — well, basically ‘pretending’ that it’s an official organization. Because, it wasn’t. There was never any deceit when it came to my charity fundraising, so, there should be no problems… but, you know.

I wanted to make my good will plain and obvious, but, I guess I can’t do that like this.

The Senshi Foundation will continue, in the efforts of The Space Angels. Though they won’t be getting a webpage. Sorry, guys.

If you still care to follow the efforts of what The Senshi Foundation would be doing if I kept that name, you can follow @icze4r on Twitter.

Thanks. This was a weird time in my life, and, since my Father’s death, I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to search for meaning through this charitable endeavor. But, as it stands right now, basically, I’m tired of trying to look good. I’d rather just be good.