Early on, I gave money to Jaime Harrison’s South Carolina Senate race against the Trump-ass-kissing Lindsay Graham. (Apparently, I was not alone, as Harrison collected a record $57 million in the last quarter.) This gesture of support (and the funds I sent Biden/Harris) put me in the path of a zillion Facebook ads aimed at Democratic donors.
You know the drill. Suddenly your inbox is full of solicitations featuring hysterical headlines and way too many exclamation points. Then come the text appeals. Each one tries to make you feel personally responsible for the fate of mankind post-Nov. 3.
This comes in addition to an increase in appeals to help nonprofits fulfill their missions, since the algorithms have now segmented you as a person who sends money to causes important to you.
Now that the economy has kicked our ass, there are even more worthwhile ways to spend your money, such as food banks and schools that can’t afford the cleaning supplies they need to protect kids in the classroom. Between the urgency of the failed Trump economic policy and politicians who you’d like to see win, giving to traditional nonprofits (think Red Cross, MDA, your college alma mater, Juvenile Diabetes, etc.) has sunk to dangerous lows.
On the other side of the equation, if you still have your job and can afford to pay the rent, electricity and put something on the dinner table, there are tons of ways the pandemic is saving you from your “normal” profligate spending such as drinks at bars, movies, commuting, and betting on Clemson games.
If you tell me you have given every spare nickel to the Biden/Harris campaign, you get a pass from the about-to-begin appeal. That’s the single most important cause in the world right now (including the pandemic). But if you have a spare $10, the nonprofit I work for could use some help.
You are forgiven if you have never heard of Charcot-Marie-Tooth, even though the disease is as prevalent as multiple sclerosis and impacts 10 times the number of people who have ALS. Named after the three French doctors who first identified it in 1886, CMT affects one in 2,500 people, including 150,000 Americans and nearly 3 million people around the world.
Including my daughter.
CMT causes progressive deterioration of peripheral nerves that control sensory information and muscle function of the foot/lower leg and hand/forearm, leading to significant problems with movement, touch, and balance as it advances. CMT can vary greatly in severity, even within the same family, and can cause severe disability — and, in rare instances, even death. There is NO treatment or cure for CMT. And because it is progressive and degenerative, patient lives get a little worse each day with no hope of ever getting better.
CMT is widely undiagnosed or misdiagnosed before people fully understand why their bodies are deteriorating. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people have CMT, but don't yet know it. Parents can unknowingly pass it to their children. And there are those who suffer in solitude with their perceived clumsiness, weakness and lack of mobility simply because they don’t know how pervasive the condition is.
I will take all the change in your car console, I will take your bottle/can recycling rebates, I will even take the bet you haven’t been able to make for or against Ohio State. In all, it will probably take a couple of hundreds of millions of dollars to find a cure so I can smile at my daughter and say, “You are safe now.”
If you can spare it at a time when no one has any money to spare and there are more hands out than ever, please make a donation at CMTRF.org.