Never give Alone

Something that happened to me a year back (May 2021) that I felt I had to write about because it lead to something better recently (July 2022)

Are you flooded by requests to give to causes, charities or crowdfunding initiatives? Are you a couch giver that certainly wants to contribute to causes but never find the confidence to give to a cause because you can never be sure if your contribution actually reaches the intended party? Or even worse, have you actually given to causes and did not get any feedback if the projects you contributed to got executed and the receivers of the contributions actually become unresponsive?

Well, I have been in all of the above situations. But Last year when India suffered through an acute oxygen and hospital bed shortage, I suffered watching that sitting in my home several thousand miles away. I decided I had to reach out and find out what I could do to help, to show solidarity but above all to be able to sleep in the night knowing my brethren were suffering. A few messages exchanged with friends and family (both in India and abroad) made me realize how much I was in the same boat as many others. After giving to a couple of causes, and still feeling I have not done enough, I wanted to speak to people. As someone who had recently brought together alumni from my university (BITS Pilani) living in Switzerland, I told the group I wanted volunteers who knew causes that we could collectively give.

When I got two volunteers with ideas that they were passionate about (Humane Warriors, working to provide food in India and Fairmed working with bringing medical support to curable tropical diseases in Nepal), we agreed that the two of the volunteers would present their causes and the details of how to donate to the group. With about 15 of us joining hands, we appointed a treasurer and a Tech person (to organize the zoom call etc) to collect money. I promised to double any contribution upto CHF 100 by the group (thus limiting my own liability) but encouraging contributions. We set ourselves a three day deadline to collect

We collected 907 Francs in this short time and we contributed 1815 to the two charities shortly after.

This was not only quick, fun and efficient with my group but over a third of every group (whatsapp) member participated. I felt just like the others who contributed, that the impact (of my own giving) was doubled and we all collectively chose and dealt with our deep need to connect with home at a time of crisis.

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The factors, more important than technology, that will move humanity forward are all human: joy, passion, empathy, commitment, loyalty and fairness.

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Kannan Palaniswamy

The factors, more important than technology, that will move humanity forward are all human: joy, passion, empathy, commitment, loyalty and fairness.