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May 08, 2009



Hey Rachel,
Maybe the guy didn't appreciate what you did - but I'm sure the children and the families of the children appreciate it. It goes back to the old story about the starfish and the guy going around throwing them back into the sea. Making a difference in the lives of one or two people is better than not doing anything at all.

Ray Adkins

Troll season officially opened!
Starving Brazilian fake,
Why don't you go back under the rock where you crawled out of and stay in the dark where you belong...

Ray Adkins


Your experience sounds like you encountered yet another Brazilian cultural difference.
When we lived in Sao Paulo we got involved with neighbors and donated food during the year and Christmas gifts in December and we use to get a similar reaction from the institutions we visited.
I could speculate and say there was a very subtle felling in Brazil that was almost like it is a bad thing to HAVE money, to be wealthy or even upper middle class, it felt like it was nothing but an obligation to donate.
In Brazil I had the impression that it was wrong to be wealthy ( middle class included ), so maybe, if the feelings and impressions I had were correct, the guy you took your donations to and some of the people I used to see where I donated, probably thought once we were donating we belonged to the "Wealthy" class and we were doing nothing but our obligation to donate.
Poor Brazilians are too proud...
One really could write a book about this subject alone.

João Marcelo

And thats why I hated NGOs in Brazil... always avoided most of them like the plague... If I could do some good myself, or thru my work, fine, but I never felt that our time, effort or donations were appreciated by any of the NGOs we helped.


tell me about it, it's frustrading. When we left the US to come do England, we were basically donating everything, we had so much stuff. I phone various charities in VA and each of them were picking and choosing what I had to donate, seriously, they should be thanking me for donating stuff and not telling me what they wanted or not. In the end we just dropped it all in front of one of these charity shops on the weekend, and if people from the streets wanted to get them, they could. The same thing happened here in England when I tried to donate a few things. It just makes you lose interest in donating anything, because many times you don't even get a "thank you".

Take care!


Just a thought

I agree in general about the disappointing state of many Brazilian NGOs, but isn't there also something to be said about altruism here? I mean, do we donate in order to be thanked? Isn't true altruism giving and expecting nothing, absolutely nothing, in return?

Rio Gringa

Humans are not altruistic by nature, and successful non-profits thrive by exploiting this. Take for example, if you had a friend in need who lost his job. You decide to go to his house and surprise him by giving him a check to hold him over. Now imagine that he opens the door, takes the check, smiles, and closes the door. How would you react to that? It's the same with donating. If someone donates $50 to a charity, they expect some sort of thank you. If someone donates $500,000 to a charity, they do so expecting a lot more than that. That's just how it works. See the Friends episode where Phoebe tries to think of a good deed that doesn't make her feel good, which boils it down to simplistic terms.

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