Saturday, March 29, 2003

It always amazes me that charity in the Bay Area is so focused on the Bay Area. Today I have a concrete example. San Jose magazine (a very glossy high-ad-content free magazine) frequently publishes articles on charity and in the April issue (not shown on their site yet) they ask four women what their favourite charities are. Their combined list is:
  • Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara
  • Santa Clara City Library Foundation
  • "arts organizations" such as San Jose Rep
  • "women's issues" such as Planned Parenthood Mar Monte
  • Santa Clara Medical Alliance
  • Los Gatos Rowing Club
  • Commonwealth Club
  • Emergency Housing Consortium
  • Land Trust of Santa Clara County
  • Hakone Gardens
All of these are local; only the Commonwealth Club (of California) has some ability to reach residents of other states.

So where's African AIDS issues? Middle East womens' rights? Education in Africa or India? Third-world food aid or clean water programs? Why don't any of these issues even make their collective radar, while gardens and museums and rowing clubs in one of the richest metropolitan areas of the world are? I suppose I'm reasonably pleased that Santa Clara is opening a 80,000-square-foot Central Park library in 2004, but I know the kind of people who will benefit from it -- people like me. I don't need the help. Others do.

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