Update on the Catholic School Atheist and Responsible Charity February 25, 2012

Update on the Catholic School Atheist and Responsible Charity

Yesterday, a Catholic-school-attending atheist teenager named Daniel was highlighted here. Daniel wanted to beat his school in a charity fundraiser, only he wanted to benefit a secular charity instead of the Church. According to Responsible Charity, within 48 hours of Daniel creating the Facebook fundraiser page, $4,925.27 has been donated from 497 people in 19 countries around the world.

This is incredible! The vision of this young teenager to create a worthwhile fundraiser out of a situation that hurt, saddened, and angered him is a testament to the power of knowledge. At that age, I hadn’t examined my faith enough to even stand for a belief, let alone create anything remotely thoughtful in the face of adversity.

As a little bit more background for those who have to kindly donated and to anyone still deciding, allow me to share a few beautiful pictures and quotes from Hemley Gonzalez, who began the organization:

It was during my sabbatical in India that I uncovered a scandal inside the charity founded by Mother Teresa (The Missionaries of Charity) involving serious medical negligence and financial fraud. I began to document and report all that I had witnessed on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/missionariesofcharity) and soon after Forbes-India contacted me for an interview.

The experience of volunteering within an organization marked by egregious fraud inspired me to create a better way to help people overcome poverty and lead a healthy and happy life. Thus Responsible Charity, Corp. was born: http://www.responsiblecharity.org/

Visit Hemley’s site for more info, photos, and his hilarious $#!+ Atheists Say video!

Thank you to everyone who donated, shared, and supported Daniel’s vision for Responsible Charity. It’s great to be a member of a community that so often seizes the opportunity to show what it’s made of.

*** Update*** From Responsible Charity:

Update regarding The Catholic School Atheist‘s fundraiser: As of this morning (Feb 27th India time) 448 folks from around the world (not the previously mentioned 497 as MANY supporters actually have doubled and tripled their donations in the last few days and we mistakenly repeated their headcount) have raised $8,664.61USD for Responsible Charity‘s project to build our first secular school for the children of the slums in Kolkata! We are now officially just a few thousands dollars shy of our $25,000USD goal. Thank you for the unbelievable support from everyone who has participated and continues to participate


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • So are they Reasonable or Responsible?

  • Annie

    This is so exciting!  Thanks for bringing this fundraising event to my attention.  I hope he reaches $10,000!

  • Fixed!

  • How much did the catholic school raise? I would be interested to see a comparison. 

  • Edward Starr

    Hemant!  I’ve read your blog just about since its inception and this is the first time I’ve been compelled to repond to a post.  Thanks for putting this story out.  This guy Daniel’s a person of heart and courage.  I not only gave, I posted it on my facebook page to hopefully encourage others to do likewise.
    See you at the Reason Rally!

  • Anonymous-Sam

     That picture is somewhat ironic given the situation – “Charity is not a competition,” it says, while we’re cheering on someone who wants to donate more money to charity than his religious “competitors.” It puts a bad taste in my mouth. If you’re making better use of your donations than someone else, fine — but even while we’re constantly striving to show religion that God isn’t necessary to have morals, don’t yourself up in an adversarial position over something like charity. It sends all kinds of the wrong message, especially if proving your morality is the goal.

  • I was struck by the irony, also. However, in this situation, given the BS the principle of his school has been spouting about atheists, it seems to me that the donations serve two purposes at the same time, which is not necessarily a bad thing. And the reality is that people have all sorts of motivations for giving to charity, many of them selfish. Why should atheists be any different?

  • Holmej

    I too hesitate at the idea of making an atheist statement with my donations, but then I think of all the times religious people have held all their charitable actions up as proof of the validity of their religion.  If they’re going to use such arguments, it has to be legitimate for us to take credit for what we do.

    As to this particular situation.  Has anyone found any way to verify that this charity is legitimate?  The humanist in me hesitates to spend my charitable dollars on a charity that I know this little about, when there are so many other charities I can feel more confident about.  I’d love to help Daniel out, but I wish he’d found a charity that I could verify.

  • Jesse L Sinclair

     Please see my comment at the bottom of the post, I outline how you can look them up with the Florida Division of Consumer Services.

    They are legit, just really, really small and apparantly TERRIBLE at promoting themselves.

  • Holmej

    Thanks Jesse.  That helps.

  • Holmej…a wise man told me once if you really want to know what that person is about, then look at their bank statements. You can easily tell if someone if trying to give until it hurts for the benefit of others or if someone is bent on living a life trying to attain their own comfort and entertainment. I prefer the former myself. 

  • Jesse L Sinclair

     Sorry, my long comment about how to look up them on the Florida site hasn’t posted, guess its stuck in moderation? Maybe because of all the links I posted it got flagged as spam.

    Anyway go to; triple ‘w’ dot 800helpfla dot com

    In the sidebar you’ll see ‘Gift Giver’s Guide’ (terrible name for the charity registry but the entire site seems like it was put together by a council of bureacrats).

    You can search for them by name “Responsible Charity, Corp” or by their registration number which is “CH33567”

  • Holmej

    I wondered where the instructions you mentioned were, but your short post contained enough information for me to figure it out.  Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    Is the website really responsibecharity.org ?

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