I’m writing this article from a really strange and bitter place. I grew up in a household where not only giving money to charities was normal, but also our time and effort. My mother was a chair of the Atlanta Women’s Resource Center, and our house was a safehouse for abused women and children. Once I was able to drive, I donated my time to campaigns on various levels. To this day, since I don’t have the time volunteer, I donate to various causes when I can, as well as strangers and friends in need when I encounter them. However, in my older age, I have experienced encounters that discourage giving.My company was a sponsor for an anime club at a local library, for which I had to run and pay for my own background check. I bought food, refreshments, and planned outings for the future. None of it happened. In the end, I think the librarians that oversaw the group were weirded out that I wanted to help. When I tried to find other groups in libraries to sponsor, I received what I perceived resistance.
Rango the Merc wrote an article about video game heroes that fought oppression. He felt it was a way that he could show support for Black Lives Matter. He also charged me with finding charitable groups to partner with in order to raise money for them. I immediately set to this, contacting organisations such as the Know Your Rights Camp, HFC, and Minnesota Freedom Fund. Most did not respond. One of them did and basically told me that their cause started out small, but was now too large to partner with me. They they gave me smaller causes that my money might be able to help. Fuck them.
Well, at least that’s what I felt in my heart. Since when did it become so hard to help? Since when was my money, or my company’s money not good enough. I’m not wealthy, and it’s not like I was going to donate thousands, but I was considering in the triple digits at least. It’s a lot for me and my company, but that shouldn’t even be a factor, should it? Shouldn’t the correct response for all of them been something to the effect of, “Hey, thanks! We appreciate it! We are very busy right now with the protests and COVID-19, but we would heartily accept whatever efforts and donation you have to give.”
Well, I’ll keep this article short and sweet. There’s a lot of talented folks out there hurting because of The Quarantine; artists, entertainers, business owners…strippers..? Yes, that last one might be funny, but hey, everyone has to eat, and that’s about as intimate a job as I can think of that is probably being killed by COVID-19. So, the next time you think about donating to a Black Lives Matter cause, think about how much of that donation will actually go to helping, once all the salaries, meals for volunteers, cuts from funding companies, and whatever various miscellaneous fees that middle men and bureaucrats can think of get paid for. Keep your support local.
Go to the local comic shoppe or pub. Purchase something from an Etsy. Become a patron to your local artist. Send a PayPal to your favourite musician. Of course, you can go down to your local strip club that reopened, and place some dollar bills on the ground for your favourite dancer. (Remember social distancing..!)
I think that the one good thing about The Quarantine is that we are all beginning to appreciate the potential for closeness we all took for granted. A lot of us are hurting financially as well as socially. Supporting your local artist, entertainer, or business help solve both of those problems.
Down below are some of my favourite folks to support. As for us, yeah, we still sell stuff, and we appreciate your business as well, but you can also help by Liking, Following, and Sharing everything and anything associated with All Cool Things™. Not only does it help us, but it helps the people whoms’ content we share.
Whitney Tai: a very talented singer, entertainer, and performer
Alphawolf: model both conventional and fetish, as well as dominatrix of all kinds
Gingersnap Pixie: model, cosplayer, graphic designer, illustrator, writer