Posted by: thediygeochemist | December 5, 2010

Let’s go viral

A recent campaign on Facebook suggests replacing your profile pic with your favorite cartoon character to help fight against/raise awareness of child abuse. I hate child abuse with a passion, but I have not changed my profile picture at all.

See, I think campaigns like this are really stupid. Really really really stupid. If you want to raise awareness of child abuse, do what my friend Corin did and post a dozen links to sites educating people on what behaviors constitute child abuse, how to spot abused children, and so on. And while it’s hard to personally fight child abuse*, people can definitely donate money (or time) to non-profits designed to help already-traumatized children and/or educate people about how to stop abuse.

Of course, you have to put your money where your mouth is: I donated to a small sum (I am poor) to The Child Abuse Prevention Association. One could say that just donating $5 or $10 to a cause does not help. But if every person who reads this blog entry donates $5 or $10, it may result in a reasonable total. And if every person who reads this blog also gets half a dozen friends to donate $5 or $10, the result could be a considerable amount.

Don’t believe me? Just ask Limecello, who, back in September, posted on her blog that if she got 10 comments on a post, she’d donate $10 to an HIV-fighting charity. Not only did she get comments, she got other readers pledging donations as well. The final total: $1150.

So here’s what I’m going to ask my readers to do:

(1) Donate $5–more if you wish–to the child-abuse-prevention charity of your choice.
(2) In the comments section of this blog, post the name of the charity. (I won’t embarrass anyone by asking for amounts–we are all grad students here.)
(3) Pass on the idea to your friends. Have them post comments too if they want.

Don’t think you have $5? Consider fasting for one or two meals and donating what you would have spent on food.

Like I said, I’m poor. But I like this idea so much that I’m going to do this every month for the next year. On the first day of the month you’ll see a blog post that (1) talks about a social issue and (2) gives a suggestion for a related charity to donate to. (Obviously, you don’t have to donate to the same organization as me. I’d love to see what other choices my readers come up with.)

Ready? Set? Let’s go…pass it on…

*I should add that one of my favorite things to do is to listen to moms with children younger than mine. I commiserate with them about how hard it can be to have children under ~5 and bring up ideas for coping mechanisms. Even this is anti-child-abuse education.



  1. Oh – I didn’t know about the FB “campaign against child abuse” – but yeah… for raising awareness, potentially useful but maybe not… “significant”?
    Volunteering at a local Boys & Girls Club is always good, being a Big Brother/Sister… I know the kids always love it, and at risk kids are so desperate for good role models. This is such a fantastic cause. I know there are some local programs here that focus on child advocacy. One of my [students – I’m a part time instructor] last year told me he knew what it felt like to kneel in the cold, when I was giving examples of human rights/abuse… it broke my heart.

    Also… thanks to the generosity of others, the total amount raised for (RED) was $1,337. šŸ˜€ It still makes me smile to think how everyone pulled together.

    Great idea! Hopefully the holiday season will really help with the generous spirit and open some wallets šŸ˜‰

  2. Amazingly, I put the same thing on my blog yesterday because I think the cartoon thing stinks.

    I am happy to report that tonight there is a new movement on Facebook that says “With or without a cartoon picture as my profile picture, I’m against child abuse.” It’s a start, at least. Kudos to you!

    M (antinmitchfield)

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