What It's Like To Be Shamed Trying To Help

man with head in hands

You know that feeling after posting something you worked hard on, and seeing that notification of your first comment? Warm and excited inside, you click and start reading those three horrible words. "Shame on you!" Immediately your stomach drops, and the blood flushes from your face. That is how I felt after reading my first comment on Reddit this last week.

"It's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I Should Be Helping Right?"

That's what I thought at least. So, earlier this month I colored my "Made of Hope" design to match that of breast cancer awareness month pink. I changed the banner of all of my social media profiles, and indicated that I would be donating proceeds of ANY of my awareness designs to the proper nonprofit research organization. However, three weeks later I have only earned about $6 in sales {which actually is an improvement over last year), and it was from my "Survivor" line of awareness designs. A little saddened by the lack of sales, I still wanted to share that I would be making a donation anyway. So I posted to Reddit with a link to my "Now I'm a survivor" t-shirt design. That is when I received the angry reply from what I could only assume was someone who had either been fighting cancer in the past or was currently fighting now.

"Spreading Hope, On The Corner Of Philanthropy And Profiteering"

I wasn't sure what to do, I'd just been accused of trying to make a dime off of individuals fighting cancer. I couldn't just yell obscene things back, besides that's not who I am. I also didn't want to push a guilt trip on them for yelling at someone with an equally terminal condition, giving up my time to help raise money to save other people's lives when I could be trying to earn that same money for my own condition.

Its got me wondering if I should even continue trying to help raise money for groups anymore. I realize that the barrier of entry is really steep when it comes to awareness apparel, but I feel like I should just round out what I've got...take the designs I have and make a set variety, and just leave it at that. Make colors of the designs I've got to the most common conditions, and make donations at major milestones.

I'm not angry at the person...there has been a lot of people taking advantage of the situation to make money, and I don't feel shame for trying to help. I just wish helping people wasn't so difficult.


"My life is made possible by awesome people like you! I have a RedBubble Store and one at Society6 filled with Disney fanart, all the way to Minimal designs. You can also Support Me on Patreon, and receive personalized rewards."

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