Facebook just sent us an email, telling us how we could boost our likes and get more shares. The example they used was an ad for breast cancer research. It showed a graphic that contained a reminder to “share if you know someone who has had breast cancer.” Okay, Zuckerberg, tell me something I don’t know. Everybody who has survived to young adulthood knows at least one person who has had breast cancer. We give to breast cancer because, in a way, it’s a local charity–we will see the results in our own communities.
Disaster relief funds–at least for the short term (remember there was just a typhoon in the Philippines?)–give a heavy but short burst of giving. Because of their randomness, the events that can turn the world upside down make us all feel vulnerable. The pictures of devastation justifiably pull at our heartstrings.
So we have a tough task ahead of us: we are testing the limits of our donors’ (i.e. your) ability to empathize.
What we would put is “Share this if you’ve never met someone who has cysticercosis.”
Or hydatid disease.
Or Chagas’ disease.
Or Guinea worm infection.
Or river blindness.
Through our partnerships in Peru, we are helping 1,330 neurocysticercosis patients get back to their normal lives, to take care of their families, to not worry about when the next seizure is going to occur.