oxfam unwrapped

I recently directed a few commercials for Oxfam Unwrapped. Oxfam’s concept was to have people give Christmas “gifts” of goats, chickens, etc – so your recipient gets a funny message that they’ve received a goat, and someone in Africa gets an actual goat to help feed their families and support their community (or for the finishing touches on their beet salads – not sure which).

my christmas shopping list

Anna Torv from the show Fringe was one of the actresses who contributed their time and talents. They say in Hollywood you should never work with kids or animals – and aren’t goats kinda both? Thanks folks, I’m here all week. Anyways, Anna makes it all look effortless – but let me warn you, she’s a trained professional and you shouldn’t try this at home (unless you have access to goats at home, in which case I don’t even wanna know what you’re doing).

It’s a great concept for a charity. I have to say that I dislike charities that solely try to bombard you with reminders of terrible things going on in the world. Anyone who reads a newspaper or follows current events is aware of the horrific situations in Darfur, North Korea, the Congo, Somalia, etc. Give me information and I’m interested, make me feel involved and I’m inspired – but guilt me and I just feel manipulated.

People choose their own battles, and I think it’s unfair to fundraise with guilt. Bill Gates isn’t focused on stopping animal cruelty, but he’s trying to stop the millions who die because of lack of access to clean water. Sam Simon isn’t focused on water borne disease, but he is a huge supporter of many animal charities. They shouldn’t feel guilty for what they’re not doing – they should feel fulfilled that they are doing something.

Whether we have $16 to spend or $16 billion, it’s never enough – so get involved with what inspires you and feel good about it – don’t feel guilty that you can’t do more.

I love that Oxfam is trying to do something creative that genuinely appeals to people. We all put our time and sense of humor into a project that hopefully makes fundraising more enjoyable for everyone. I hope it inspires people to donate rather than guilts them into it.

That said, I’m really trying to improve my blog. If you read this whole post and benefited from it – how could you live with yourself if you didn’t send me money? I mean, you’re basically stealing. I do have beet salads to buy, after all.