This is something I heard about listening to the radio this afternoon. It's about the Red Project where some corporations have unveiled a line of "red" products which are priced higher than similar types of products with a "portion" of the profit of of these going to the distribution of AIDS medications in Africa. http://www.joinred.com/
Now I support the idea of some of these programmes because of the good that can come out of this. But this is the thing with which I have the problem:
1. This manifesto they've put out seems like a sales pitch for profit over guilt. The make such a statement as "if you don't purchase these products, people will die". Will they? Is this entity that vital? Are we to feel guilted into buying these silly marked-up products, and given the impression that this charity is the last light of hope for AIDS victims? How about these corporations make all the profits of these products go to a medication distribution charity. How many more charities do we need? Are they going to garauntee us this money will reach the victims?
2. Only a "portion" of the profits will go. A porton? That's all? How about making donations from profits of their entire product line. These companies are profiting off of this crap, which most likely costs the same or close to the same amount as the regular product line. Are you going to pay $45 for a red Gap T-shirt (that is the same quality as their other t-shirts), or $198 bucks for red jeans or painted red jeans. This seems to be nothing more than a rackett and a rip-off. Every company has the right to make a profit, but to decieve the public into buying something that is overpriced like this.
3. Of course, you can't have a good charity without the celebrity bullhorns. Stars like U2 singer Bono, model Christy Turlington, and even president Bush is plugging this. We learned about wreckless charity after 9/11, when the United Way and the American Red Cross was sitting on millions of dollars of charity money that didin't reach the families affected until almost a year after. And the Hurricane Katrina fiasco, the debit cards that the gov't issued to victims, that millions of these dollars ended up going to scammers who spent the money on topless dancers, alcohol, and drugs. Again, zero accountability
Like I said, i'm all for charity of worthwhile causes, and the cause is worthy, but the methods being used, I think are unethical. If they truly want to help, donate all the proceeds from this line of stuff and not make a profit over charity. And stamp a garauntee that this money will go to the cause and not into some foreign dictators pocket. And lets start seeing some kind of education in Africa on getting the men to keep it in their pants. This epidemic of AIDS in Africa is being spurred on by the lack of education on spreading the AIDS virus, through unprotected sex. Lets start at the root of the problem rather than flushing charity money down the drain. Let's put the money to good use and be responsible with it.