Friday, February 03, 2012

When charities go bad

As we approach Super Bowl Sunday this weekend, I'm afraid I might draw a penalty flag with this post for "piling on", which is the football term for throwing oneself on a pile of players who have already brought down the ball carrier. 

But I hope I bring what might be an interesting male perspective on the whole Komen Foundation/Planned Parenthood flap that occurred over the past few days. 

My only personal contact with the Komen Foundation was through fund-raising efforts at my golf club. And I must say they were not pleasant. On two different occasions, members of the club confronted their fellow members during social events and asked them pointedly, in front of their friends, to give cash to the Komen Foundation. 

I definitely got the sense that the people involved had, as the saying goes, "drunk the Kool-Aid". They'd been brainwashed, in a sense, into thinking that the cause was so righteous and so holy and so above reproach that it was alright to confront and embarrass one's friends in public about it.

This was my first clue that the Komen Foundation had gone way around the bend in its fund-raising tactics. After that, I never gave them another nickel. And I began to notice other things, like the pink gloves and shoes and whatever else on NFL players and everywhere else for that matter. Komen had become more than enthusiastic, they'd become overbearing, self-serving and sanctimonious.

The final nails in the coffin came in the last few days during the Planned Parenthood funding debacle. First, my Boston friend and breast cancer survivor Alicia Staley re-published her post on Komen's financial statement and their inclination to litigation. This made it perfectly clear in dollars and cents that Komen cared more about itself and its brand than about the women it was supposed to be helping. Lastly, Lisa Adams, another friend and cancer survivor, posted her experience with, as she put it, "divorcing the Komen Foundation".

As a cancer patient myself (CLL), although not nearly as endangered as Alicia or Lisa, I am disappointed that an organization ostensibly created to help cancer patients, should become so self-centered, inwardly focused and as a consequence cowardly and subservient to intimidation. 


Post a Comment

<< Home