Friday, February 22, 2008

Suspicious minds

There's a news story in Seattle about a man who disappeared on his way home from work, after calling his wife to tell her he was on his way. I can't even imagine how scary and sad that must be for his wife and kids and I wish them the best possible outcome for this situation.

The part of this story that hits a little closer to home (besides the obvious Seattle connection) is the fact that the wife has also got a shop on Etsy, and Etsy in general is a pretty tight-knit online community.

Obviously in such a community, there are a lot of 'prayer threads' and 'support threads' pertaining to this situation. Which is what people do, when they feel like they want to help from afar and/or they don't know the family personally, I guess. (I'm not really one for stuff like that.)

The thing I find sort of odd is the plea for financial assistance. There's a bank account set up, and Paypal info posted, etc. with pleas about how the family is in a bad financial situation. And that makes me *very* wary. I'm not telling other people what to do, just expressing my own opinion here.

I'm all for the group search parties, and people being asked to post leaflets and blog posts, etc to get the word out and find this guy. To me, that's true help for the problem at hand.

But the money? Who knows what's going on here? The guy may just have left on his own volition. Which makes it a sad story, but for me, not enough to give money to a complete stranger, who may or may not really *need* it. I'm not accusing these people of anything, after all, I don't know them, but I'm honestly surprised at how willing people are to donate money to something like this without knowing all the facts.

I know this isn't a popular viewpoint, but it makes me feel better to get it out there. I'm saving my charity money for the homeless puppies.

Your thoughts? Am I a horrible person for thinking this way? (Ah, if that's not opening myself up to lots of troll comments, I don't know what is...)


  1. hey Anandi!
    Of course you're not a horrible person for thinking this way! I think more people think this way then would admit.
    It's a tragedy and suspicious both. Not knowing the people personally I think actually makes most people more objective. I also thought 2-3 days may be a little early to be in financial need from the situation.
    My heart does go out to them and I hope they have resolution soon.

  2. @juliajae - thank you! You said exactly what I was thinking about the $ but was too afraid to post. Thanks!

  3. hey! greetings from the brit!
    I don't think it's a bad thing to pick and choose which causes you want to donate to! Atleast you are conscious about the use of the donation. Some people don't like giving money to people on the streets because they presume it's all going towards funding drug addictions. Some prefer smaller charties to the high profile ones. It's your money!

  4. This story is pretty much inescapable for me. Inbetween the avatars and threads on the Etsy forums and the fact that he worked in/disappeared from the neighborhood I live in, I see his face on flyers everywhere.

    As far as the monetary need--it didn't surprise me when those requests immediately popped up. I had a coworker who earns quite a comfortable salary whose husband died very suddenly from a heart attack (he was only 46). Going from two incomes to one (or none) can be an immediate financial hardship when your house isn't paid for (whose is?!) and there are bills to pay. The coworker's family immediately established an account that's a memorial fund for her kids and there was money essentially pouring in from all over the company.

    That's not to say I don't think your suspicions don't have merit but I don't think it's too odd to request financial assistance right away.


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