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September 28, 2012: The importance of "The 10% Club"

Originally posted on this blog.

The 10% Club is really an extension of one of the fundamental Effaist beliefs, namely that we should look beyond our own needs, and help other living beings to enjoy a better life. The premise behind the club is simple Ė to encourage people to set aside 10% of the money they normally spend on entertainment, and to donate that money to charities that help animals. There are no membership fees or club cards, just the promise that you make to help and the follow through. So why animals? Why not focus on other charities? In our experience, animal shelters, animal rescue organizations, and other such entities have a much harder time surviving financially than charities that deal with other issues. While there is a wide variety of worthwhile charities one can support, the ones that actively help animals are the ones that are the most underfunded, and, in some countries, completely ignored.

Many of us spend a lot of money on going out and having fun. The percentage of the same people who give even a little money to animal charities (or any charities whatsoever) is ridiculously low. The 10% Club is a gentle reminder that while we spend, spend, spend on ourselves, there are others out there who would be grateful for every dollar we give in order to keep doing what they do. This is doubly true in many developing countries, where animal charities are often not funded at all, and rely on donations from people like me and you to survive. The 10% club is reminder that by setting aside even a little of our disposable income, we can indeed begin to make a difference. Letís say there are 100 people every Friday at the bar that you go to. Each person there spends about 30 dollars that night. If each person sets aside 10% of the money they spend, there would be $300 dollars available for charities. $300 can go a long way. It could buy a lot of dog and cat food, blankets, and other necessities that animal shelters often struggle to provide for the animals that they save.

Of course there is still a long way to go before the small minority of givers becomes a majority. Every person that "joins the club", however, and donates even a little bit of money to charity, is helping to make a difference. These days, many organizations that help animals have websites and make it easy to donate online through Paypal or bank transfers. The only thing to remember is to make sure youíre donating to a reputable organization, so do some research beforehand! Those of us who donít have a lot of disposable income, but would like to help anyway, could always volunteer a little of our time at an organization that helps animals. In some places, volunteers are required as much as money.


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