Many of you may have been invited to join the group SEND SHANE A CARD on Facebook... If you haven't heard of it, basically, there is a boy living in Canada who relapsed almost a year ago with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia). For his birthday this year, Shane is asking for birthday cards to be sent to him... he is attempting to break the world record for birthday cards received. Here's a video that uses footage that was aired by a Canadian News Program.
I've been a part of this group for a few weeks, and there's been a lot of debate about it, ESPECIALLY on the facebook group. (What facebook group doesn't have debate?) Basically, people are saying, if everyone paid the $3 they were spending on a card on donating to cancer research, it would be better than sending Shane a card. Also, people are saying that Hallmark is secretly behind this, trying to make a profit. The worst of the arguments is that people who send him a card are being selfish. That they should be thinking of the 20 million people who are afflicted with AIDS in Africa.
I have to retaliate to that with: I think the bigger picture is the fact that the human race, for the most part, doesn't feel a strong obligation to randomly help others. If you are not directly affected by AIDS or cancer (which I am, by BOTH) than you probably don't go about your day daydreaming of ways to raise money for the cause. You also probably don't feel a huge sense of obligation to send a donation to help find a cure. This is not a crime. It might be sad, but the fact has to be faced - the average person doesn't go around donating their money for good causes. Most of the time, they are touched by something- a story in a magazine, a group on facebook, a friend of a friend who's friend has cancer... something like that. Or, they are directly affected, they know someone who has cancer or who has passed away from it, etc. These people probably donate to cancer research more than the others. What I'm trying to get at is - those people, the ones who donate because they were touched by something and felt a need to donate money -- it depends on what they are touched by. Basically: If I am touched by Shane's story and want to send him a card, and that makes someone angry because I should be spending my money by donating it to better causes- than they need to find a way to touch me with THAT story. Because people do not donate for no reason. (MOST people.) If you feel that people should be donating to the AIDS cause, than convince them to, because that is what makes people receptive. They won't do it on their own. (**That is a generalization. I know people who read this are in leaders, and are my friends, and as a whole, I try to surround myself with people who are "amazing" in my opinion...therefore, my group of friends and probably my readership of this blog are not a good representation of society.)
I agree that if everyone who sent Shane a card donating that money to cancer research instead, it would be great - but this little boy's face lights up every time his mother brings a pile of cards into his hospital room. I think it's worth it to send him a card. His birthday is MAY 30th so please send one by then!
Here is his address:
PO Box 484
You'll need two stamps for it to make it across the border.
I won't preach about this - but if you can find 5 minutes in your day to send Shane a card, you might find yourself feeling much better about yourself...