Monday, January 29, 2007

More on wants, bad fundraising, and help for our veterans

My post on whether wants matter drew a really good comment from Nedra. It was, frankly, better said than my answer, and pointed out clearly the difference between simple education and a mix of education and marketing to get the work done. A shoutout to Nedra!

I had a scary call last night: "Hi I'm from _____, a professional fund-raising firm helping our brave disabled veterans get better accessibility in public buildings."
Huh? Repeat after me...A...D...A....

I said: "Oh, that sounds important, tell me more..."
The marketer thought she had me hooked and went on enthusiastically about making federal buildings and hospitals more accessible and how the money would go to influence congress.

Once she was done, I asked: "Have you ever heard of the Americans With Disabilities Act?"

Of course, she hadn't. I said:

"In 1991 there was sweeping change in federal law that required all the accessiblity you see today: curb cuts, wheelchair ramps, automatic doors, accessible rooms in hotels, etc."

I mentioned that I've been overseas on crutches within the past two years, and we are light years ahead of the United Kingdom...and THEY are pretty advanced in this area compared to the rest of the world. Then I said:

"So what exactly is your group doing, if this law is already in place, enforced, and effective?"

She hung up.

What a great example of scam fund-raising. Put "disabled" and "Veterans" together and you KNOW people are going to open their hearts and wallets.

And, of course, the saddest part is that there ARE real unmet needs for our disabled vets. That's why the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and other great organizations have sprung up to support the vets in ways that the Veteran's Administration won't (which is another whole disgrace).

I both need and want more responsible fund raising....


Kathy Podgers said...

Here in cambridge MA, in SPITE of the ADA, the Civil Rights Act of 1990, a City Councillor and the Mayor are attempting to ban guide dogs for the blind and service dogs from public meetings. It is ironic that the City Councillor who brags that she supports disabled Vets claims that service dogs are a health hazard equivelent to cigarrettee smoke! The Mayor, who distains rule of law, states his beliefs that he she is gracious and selfless!

It might be interesting to note that as quoted from Roy Bercaw, "Immediately after closing public comment, at the Jan 22, 2007 meeting,...reeves...convened an emergency meeting of the "Journalism Committee." ...Reeves said he cannot rely on the Cambridge Chronicle to print truthful stories about the "City."

So, I had to laugh at your delightful post, especially about the woman who had not even heard about the ADA. However, here in Cambridge MA, it's not that the power that be hasn't heard about it, it is that they seek to undo it, and with the taxpayers dollars!!

Deb said...

This is particularly shocking in a City which we conservatives have come to know as "The People's Republic of Cambridge." How hypocritical -- what does it say about priorities for human rights? Besides, every service dog I've ever encountered has exhibited the best of manners and grooming. What seems to be the problem?