Buying a Sole (or Two)

My friend Anne Jackson is working on a project that could help a lot of people.

Essentially, a $5 donation will purchase two pairs of shoes. The shoes will be given to those people who don’t have them and can’t afford them.

… over 300 million people around the world don’t have shoes and are forced to walk around unsafe and in potentially life-threatening conditions. not only is it unsafe physically, but having to look down all the time causes these people to also live without dignity and confidence.

If you need any more incentive than that, one donor and his/her guest will be chosen at random to hand deliver some shoes to people in Mexico.

I gave $5 a couple minutes ago. It was quick and easy.

You can do the same.

More information can be found in the press release here.

By the way, when are atheists going to spearhead a project like this?

We have the tech savvy, passion, and ethics to pull it off. When will we stop arguing and take some real action to benefit those less fortunate than us?

  • Matthew

    Thanks for the link!

  • Siamang

    By the way, when are atheists going to spearhead a project like this?

    Yeah, what are you waiting for, Hemant?

    Don’t complain that someone else should do something that you’re not willing to do.

    I don’t stick my atheism up front and center to my charitable giving. If you want to see that kind of grandstanding, be my guest. Start your organization. If I believe in the actual nuts and bolts cause (not merely the PR cause) I may contribute some money.

    But don’t stand around waiting for someone else to create it.

  • anon

    By the way, when are atheists going to spearhead a project like this?

    Check out kiva.org where the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious lending team is battling it out with the Kiva Christians.

  • http://delicious.com/jcchurch James

    I hate to rain on a good parade, but the site isn’t properly set up to take credit card numbers in a secure manner. If they fix their tech issues, I’ll donate.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    By the way, when are atheists going to spearhead a project like this?

    Check out kiva.org where the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious lending team is battling it out with the Kiva Christians.

    Kiva is excellent, and I think it’s awesome that the atheist group is at the top of the charts.

    I’m wondering, though, how come atheists aren’t starting sites like Kiva. Could we make something like this happen?

  • http://www.ravingsofamadsceptic.blogspot.com cat

    I have long thought about starting up an Atheists & Agnostics charity… I wondered if there were any such charities after seeing a multitude of christian charities for sponsoring a child overseas, and I thought, gee, wouldn’t it be nice to donate to something with religion totally out of the equation? Unfortunately, I haven’t the foggiest as to how to get one off the ground!

  • http://gretachristina.typepad.com/ Greta Christina

    Um…

    Is it really true that atheists don’t contribute to/organize charities?

    Or is it just that we don’t do it as atheists?

    I do sometimes donate to SHARE, the Secular Humanist Aid and Relief Efforts, to “mark” my donation as being from secularists. But I also just donate to, you know, the Red Cross or the women’s clinic or whoever. And I don’t tell anyone I’m an atheist when I’m doing it. (I would, but it’s not generally on the form.)

    And I bet there are plenty of atheists heading up charitable and social- justice organizations all over the country and the world. But why would the head of the Indiana Socialist Hurricane Relief Fund or whatever make a big deal out of their atheism? Why would we even know about it?

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    Hemant, I’d like to start a charity helping disadvantaged kids in my local area that have been let down by schools. It’s nothing earth shattering, just somewhere for them to go where they aren’t wandering the streets in gangs intimidating old ladies. Old ladies, it seems, are scared by anyone under 30 and particularly groups of people with nothing to do.

    The problem is that I don’t have the background for this. I can organise work and a team because, basically, they have to do what I say in order to get paid and if they don’t then I can get someone who will. I’ve never tried to organise a group of volunteers or beg funding out of charities or local authorities. I’ve never been a part of such a group effort as many people in a church might have.

    The more I look at it the solution seems to be that I should join a church to gain the experience I need because they organise these things well and frequently. I don’t want to do that because I don’t want to be lumbered with the extra baggage that goes with a church. That leave me foundering. I have an idea and I’ve identified a need but I’m stuck as to where to go from here.

    You ask why more atheists don’t spearhead charities. Maybe, like me, they don’t know how or lack the experience to make it work. It’s a vicious circle, of course, because I’m not going to build a youth centre without religion so others won’t have any experience of helping out there. That means that they won’t go on to build their own charities.

    There’s another issue of securing funding. Government regulates charities and even sponsors them in small ways with set up grants, advice, etc. Showing the local regulatory body that you mean business is much easier if you have a support structure behind you like a church. Part of the work is already done. People are also less suspicious of church groups (present company not withstanding) because, even if you don’t agree with their faith, you have to accept that their intentions are usually good. With an atheist you have to take the charity business plan as your only source of information and, like it or not, that is a limiting factor.

    If anyone has written a guide on setting up a charity please point me in the direction of it. Sorry for the moan as well. The grand idea of “why don’t atheists do more charity” is fine but there are some (not insurmountable) problems. Some of these are psychological because it looks like an uphill struggle without a church supporting you so you give up before you begin.

  • Ada

    People who go barefoot do not look down all the time, and the dangers they face are typically exaggerated by people who have been shod their whole lives and actually know nothing about going barefoot. Sorry, but this is really not the biggest concern that people face.

    I just saw the picture on the site shows they hand out flip flops! Even if shoes could protect them from some life-threatening condition, flip flops are the least protective shoe possible, and actually can cause major problems to the feet. Your toes have to scrunch unnaturally to keep them on. On natural terrain, they likely increase the risk of injury since they flap around and impede the ability to feel what’s underfoot.

    I question how well thought-out this idea is!

  • http://www.withoutgods.net anton

    hoverFrog:

    My grandfather suggested that I treat attending a church like taking a University course in social organizations. I went so far as to be appointed a teacher for the priesthood in the Mormon Church. I learned a lot. Unfortunately, most Atheist groups reject the very idea of being “organized” or having structure. I went so far as to create a model for such an organization. You can learn all about it at http://www.milesians.net The complaint I get from other Athesits is that it sounds too much like a “church”. Somehow Atheists want a “new” kind of organization that does little, and requires little, if nothing, on their part. On the whole I have found that Atheists prefer to “stay in the closet”. Most of them do not want to do anything for children . . . but that is the strength of the “Christian movement” . . . and the weakness of any Atheist attempts. It would appear that most active Atheists are childless! Good luck. Perhaps you can get some ideas from my site.


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