Charitable Darwinism: Such a thing as too much charity?

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Sabrina Abesamis

Sabrina Abesamis, Opinion Editor

The competition is fierce, cutthroat. The weak are picked off by those that are stronger, faster, better. Society has largely accepted Darwin’s theory of natural selection. We understand it, live by it, even take advantage of its laws. Yet, we shy away from the desire to apply these same principles to the charities in our community. Nevertheless, these harsh rules still end up guiding, whether we like it or not, the survival of charities at Wellington High School.

WHS boasts several upcoming charitable events in 2013 from its newest addition, Dance Marathon, to veterans like Relay for Life and ThinkPink. These events, support diverse causes including cancer, breast cancer, and the equally important, kids with cancer, and are all set to come consecutively each month starting in March. Unfortunately, the annual St. Baldrick’s event (also for kids with cancer) has since bitten the dust, replaced by Dance Marathon as the new philanthropic event sponsored by SGA.

However, this influx of charities doesn’t actually seem to benefit the organizations as a whole. With SGA and other individual clubs already scrambling to generate school spirit for their respective events, an increased degree of rivalry among them only appears to increase student apathy and actually depress participation. In 2002, a Texas A&M University study found that increased competition among charities results in an overall decrease in total donations collected.

Relay for Life is already playing a balancing act by attempting to gather up early momentum and support without upstaging Dance Marathon. The event is also taking the unprecedented approach of calling upon the leaders of multiple clubs at WHS to take charge, including Key Club, ThinkPink and Stand Up to Cancer. Ultimately, the real question and hope is if this technique can overcome the challenge of Charitable Darwinism.