“In times of great peril and shared suffering, all of us should set aside our differences and reach out to one another in a spirit of love and understanding.”
–-Sprocket (Steve Whitmire) as interpreted by Doc (Gerry Parkes), Fraggle Rock, “Marooned” (written by David Young)
It may not be a shocking revelation to say that I have issues with the most popular Muppet fan sites. They also seem to have issues with me, and it’s a whole thing, and I don’t want to get into it right now.
But the reason I bring it up at all is because I also believe very strongly that good deeds deserve recognition. At the moment, the two most prominent fan sites, Tough Pigs and The Muppet Mindset, are engaged in a fundraising campaign to support relief efforts in response to the devastating bush fires in Australia which, as I’m sure you already know, have killed so many animals, displaced so many people, and laid thousands of acres to waste. The fundraising effort is a worthwhile cause, and I am happy to support them in their noble endeavor.
These are the charities that they have asked us to donate to:
Donating to such a worthy cause, and helping so many people and animals in the process, should be its own reward. However, if you act before Monday the 27th (taking the time difference into consideration), you also have the opportunity to enter to win Muppet-related prizes. Details are available on the fan sites’ respective webpages linked to above.
Some helpful FYIs for the actual donation part:
- The donation amount that you enter is in Australian dollars, not American.
Australian money is worth more than American currency, suffice it to say, the value is different; I don’t understand it. This is why I majored in English. Anyway, so if you enter $5 as a donation amount, you’re actually only giving $3.41 USD. If you want to donate exactly $5 American, you have to enter $7.33 as the donation amount. If you have $300 left over in your Cookie Monster budget and you want to donate all of it, you must enter $438.40, etc.
- The fan sites running the contest have imposed no minimum donation amount. However, the koala hospital will not accept a donation of less than $5 which, again, is in Australian currency.
- The website for the Australian Red Cross gives you the option of using PayPal, which is a more secure method of payment.
Now, I’m not trying to influence you as to where you send your money and in what amount. I found this information helpful and therefore thought I would pass it on to you. There is not a right or wrong way to do good; at least, not in this scenario.
If, like Jim Henson, you want to be one of the people who makes a difference in the world, this is a good opportunity to do so.
5 thoughts on “Australian Bush Fire Relief”
Well stated -as always Mary. So many are in need everywhere, but it is important to choose wisely how one makes donations.Bless them all, for sometimes it seems overwhelming, indeed.
On behalf of Australia, thanks. I think we’ve been quite surprised and touched by what seems like the entire world not only noticing our troubles, but also pitching in generously with various kinds of support.
I last visited Muppet fan websites… well, a few years ago, and based on what I witnessed there, I’ve never bothered to visit again. So *I* would encourage people to send money (if they so choose) direct to one of those charities without giving extra clicks to any middleman websites. But that’s just me, and I’m not in the market for Muppet swag.
(P.S. Australian dollars are – unfortunately – worth a lot less than American ones. But we get what you meant. :))
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Sorry. It’s math; it gets me every time. Suffice it to say, there’s a difference in value.
Anyway, you’re very welcome. It’s certainly the least I can do. I understand about fires and natural disasters. It was not quite 20 years ago that the Black Hills where I grew up were hit by two quite severe forest fires, and what people don’t seem to realize is that the ecosystem doesn’t just bounce back from that. Nearly 20 years later, the two mountains most affected are still largely denuded of trees. Less than six months ago, the city where I live now was hit by three tornadoes in short succession. All things considered, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it did cause a lot of damage and it did directly affect people that I know and care about.
Oh, and a word about those links. As far as I can tell, they all go directly to the charities, unless GoFundMe counts as a “middleman.” I didn’t go too in depth about the contest (because, after all, the relevant stats are available elsewhere) but I thought it was important to share the information to those who have an interest.
Speaking of the fan sites, I completely agree with you. I doggedly tried to keep offering alternate viewpoints until a few months ago when two things happened in short succession: they made it clear that my contributions were not appreciated, and I realized that I don’t like being insulted and condescended to. Reading them is a hard habit to break because they’re still the most reliable source of Muppet news, but I’ve vastly cut down my forum participation, only throwing in when I have something to say that I feel is important.
On the other hand, I think that people should get what they deserve for their actions. When their actions are good, they deserve credit and recognition. When their actions are bad or questionable, they deserve criticism. I’m going through this with my governor now: one month she does something stupid, the next she does something decent; then she does something stupid and unnecessarily dangerous, then a week later, she does something right for the wrong reasons. It’s exhausting trying to keep up. But anyway, my point is that when people do something praiseworthy they should receive positive reinforcement which, hopefully, will encourage them to do more of it.
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Oh, your links are fine. The text might send readers hopping off to find the competition, but if that’s what they really want to do… hey, I can’t stop them.
I see merit in what you’re saying. But my guess is that in these internet days of entitlement-to-instant-opinion-broadcasts, internet dwellers (and governors) get so much conflicting positive and negative feedback on everything they do that it becomes meaningless. It is of course everyone’s business to pick their own battles… I learned a lot of startling lessons in 2017 about what happens when human nature gets twisted through virtual spaces. I spend a lot of time lurking (silently) in various corners of the net, and there are many things I see in a different light now than before. Patterns are repeated everywhere. There are inherent toxicities, and I’m pessimistic about anybody’s ability to fix that without burning it all to the ground. But you’re right – quitting the drug ain’t easy.
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I’m late to speak on this myself and the campaign has ended, but you couldn’t have found a more appropriate “Fraggle Rock” quote – the bushfires still are a serious matter, and even now, it’s crucial that we reach out to Australia “in a spirit of love and understanding”, at this time of need. It deeply saddens me that, as the flames rage on, the damage continues; some have already lost their lives, others have been forced to evacuate their homes, haze has caused breathing problems as a result of the smoke making its way into cities, and more than a billion animals have died (a week ago, it was estimated to be about 1.25 billion – I know the koala population was severely impacted, about thirty percent were gone in the New South Wales region since I last checked — and the koala happens to be one of my favorite animals). Having expressed that, thank you so much for encouraging donations and conveying the idea that the gratification one feels after helping others is enough of a reward in itself (*despite your wording it differently, it’s a valuable lesson I took from this message). Like you, I also wouldn’t tell people where to send aid and how much to send, in addition to sending because the cause matters, however, I know what I want in the end; relief and regrowth for the land Down Under (*prizes, Muppet-themed or not, wouldn’t be involved). Further, I completely concur with Jim’s philosophy of making a difference in the world, it hit home in this regard – if there’s a means to ease pain and suffering the world over, why shouldn’t our side do something about it? Altogether, thanks again for teaching us that fulfillment from giving, regardless of an incentive, should be, in this case, the true, genuine reward – may Oz recover, and very soon, I hope!
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