“Charity begins at Home, and justice begins next door.”
~ Charles Dickens
While speaking to one of the respondents, I said, “Someone somewhere will benefit from the little we donate today.” The satisfaction that I have given a part of me towards something that will benefit monetarily to somebody gives me immense pleasure. Half of my salary in real life, goes towards charity. It does not matter that it is in Second Life.
The other day, a small boy of just 18 years old who has just graduated high school was wondering with his “thela” selling food. When I came to know of his aspirations to get his MBA, I offered my help in coaching him for free.
Irrespective of what he makes, I make sure to buy food from him every day. It may not be called charity. But this motivates other people in my locality to buy food from him as well, increasing his sales and his daily income. In Second Life, a group of Indians have formed a new team called 4mE – Vents Out, team 93 help fundraiser for Relay For Life of Second Life.
So, travelling through SL, I asked residents if they trust charities in Second Life, if yes, which charities they trust and why. Here are the opinions and responses of few of the residents.
Athena Rose Boom (Miss Royal Israel of ♔ Miss Royalty Organization): Well I only trust two charities; one would be Relay for Life and the other would be the Breast Cancer Awareness. I have been a part of a charity event for Feed America which included the website to show proof the money wasn't just going somewhere else. But Relay for Life and BCA (Breast Cancer Awareness) would be my two top choices and I trust them because I also take part in those charities in real life so I do donate in SL what might be a dollar or five dollars, but I'm an active person in real life with the charities. So I do know where the money is going and I love to meet new people and to see their hearts to help others, to remember them and to encourage the ones still with us. That's why I trust Relay for Life and BCA.
Christian Carlsson (Co-owner at The Torch Entertainment Guide): Yes, I do trust two charities, they are Survivors of Suicide, which I trust because I have seen their work with psychiatric healthcare and suicide prevention and Relay For Life, because their control is very strict and I have personally talked to officials from American Cancer Society that confirmed the legality of the charity.
Moeko Tatekana (Owner of a yet to release publication): As long as they are well-known and I can find out about them independent of SL, then yes. I always happily support charitable work within SL. The main one that springs to mind is Relay for Life. However, there was an event a while back for the charity SOPHIE - The Sophie Lancaster Foundation. This is a charity that aims to educate the public about those that perhaps are alternative, i.e. Goth, punk, etc. It was established when Sophie Lancaster was killed trying to defend her boyfriend who had been attacked for looking different. Cancer charities are very close to my heart as my mother died of ovarian cancer. So if I see something supporting any kind of cancer research, I'm keen to support and LGBT charities too.
Robert Galland (Owner of Galland Homes): I've dealt with quite a few events that have charitable goals, the largest probably having been the Home and Garden Expo. I've been a premium sponsor of that event on multiple occasions and have always trusted that the organizers had the right intentions. Nothing has ever happened to shake my trust in those people or others, like those who organize an SL presence for One billion rising as another example. I believe there are a lot of trustworthy efforts out there and if there's a few who act inappropriately, that doesn't affect my thoughts on charity in SL at all.
Rose Uros (owner of Miss Royalty Organization): That's a great question. It can be hard to know which to trust. Charities I have trusted is #1 Relay for Life which is if not the biggest charity in SL. Others are Models Giving Back, Rock your Rack, MVW winner's charities (example: Fashion for Change). Wounded Warriors which is done monthly by USA veterans and active duty in SL. Trusting the people who run the charity helps make it easier for me to donate big amount of linden. Great example is one done by Models Giving Back (Toys for Tots) during Christmas. I saw none really donated in that big crowd and that got me upset because #1 It's Christmas #2 Why isn't anyone wanting to help children?.They had set it up like an auction but I didn't care for the prize. I easily donated 5k. That's something a big donator should look out for. When no one is really helping you have to be the one to step up. In the end it's not about the prize or getting 15mins of fame. It's about helping real people in need. I personally don't know of anyone that's done anything bad in name of charity. It's been all good since 2011 (noob days) for me. I hope to continue so with opening charities with my organization. The people in the country my parents were born in live in poverty. So, every Thanksgiving the community does this mega event to help raise money. We raised $10 million and with that it helped them a lot in many ways.
Ruby Ornamental (model participant at Colors of Couture pageant): I trust Relay For Life of Second Life. I trust fashion for change. It is new yet I trust on account of the organization supporting it in SL.
Giving to charity whether it is in the real world or in Second Life improves self- being and provides a sense of purpose in life. Being on the receiving end of charity improves the quality of life for those in need. No matter what end of charity you are on it reminds us all how important a good deed is.