Today is the perfect day to announce the charitable mission of this blog. If the blog survived a few months and generated some revenue, I wanted to donate a portion of the money to charity (partially inspired by the incredible blogger/doctor, PhysicianOnFire).
So 10% of all blog revenue will be donated to charity. Not 10% of income or profit — 10% of revenue. That means 10% of any dollar received goes to charity — no accounting games or tax deductions or expenses subtracted out first. At the moment it means the blog is already losing money — I’ve only received a small amount of revenue thus far (subscribe to find out in our first newsletter how much). All of that money (and then some) is already going to attend a conference that I’m only attending because of the blog, which means the first donation is coming out of my regular income. Hopefully that switches at some point because I’m not sure the blog will survive that business model.
Assuming I keep generating revenue, I plan to periodically switch which charity receives the money (via a user voted poll perhaps). This go-around I will be donating to disaster relief in Houston. It may seem odd, but I will be donating to H-E-B, an awesome grocery chain with many locations in Houston, that is participating in disaster relief (and has done such work for awhile).
Update: Read this post about why we chose not to donate to charity in 2018 (but it does not impact the blog).
My Hurricane Experience in H-Town
My wife and I lived in Houston for 3 years during my pediatric residency. I was working night shifts in the pediatric ER (and she was pregnant and working day shifts in the pediatric ICU) when Hurricane Ike hit. It caused significant damage to Galveston and came through Houston, knocking out power and water for millions.
We spent a few days living in the hospital as part of the “ride-out” team — when the hurricane approached, we were designated to bring stuff with us and be prepared to live in the hospital for awhile. I was awake and in the ER when they locked the doors to the hospital and wouldn’t let anyone in or out as the storm came through (okay, I also snuck up to the top floor to look at the view — perhaps not the smartest thing to do). After a few days, when things were clear, the relief team came in and we went home.
We went home to our apartment — a few blocks from the Texas Medical Center — and realized we had no power or water. We also realized we were completely unprepared. We had only a little stored water and food — we were complete hurricane newbies. Thankfully we had relatives that hadn’t been affected, so we ended up leaving our place for a few days to stay with relatives.
The damage from Hurricane Ike to Houston was nowhere near what just happened with Hurricane Harvey. We were able to get in our car and drive to our family members’ house. I have family members as well as friends that are still in Houston, and they’ve suffered far more than I did during my experience with Ike.
So please consider donating to some relief effort.
So why is this the perfect day for this announcement? Today is Eid-al-Adha, also known as “Feast of the Sacrifice,” celebrating the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismael, at Allah’s command.
Ok, I slept in my own bed last night (and tonight and tomorrow night I’ll be awake and working the graveyard shift).
Back to the point.
This holiday specifically encourages giving to charity — giving food to those in need is a key component of the holiday. It also commemorates the end of Hajj, the pilgrimage to Makkah that adult Muslims are expected to make at least once in their life if they are capable.
No, I have not yet made the journey; it’s incredibly expensive. Expensive enough that I need to make a separate fund to save for it, and I have yet to start saving. Rogue One, currently 8-years old, has talked about wanting to make the journey. So if I want to take all 3 kids that is even more money to save — if I divert the kids college money we ought to be able to pull it off by the time all are old enough to go.
They may not appreciate that, but we all have to make sacrifices to reach our destinations.
Have you lived through a natural disaster already or are you affected by Harvey? If so I hope you had/have people helping you. Share any thoughts or comments below.