Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Breast Cancer Site

Every day I visit The [Good Cause] Site to click the giant button that gives free stuff to good causes.

"The Site" is really a series of six identical sites that each support a different cause: children's health care, literacy, animal rescue, feeding the hungry, fighting breast cancer, and saving the rainforest. Each site has a big button, and for every person that clicks that button, advertising sponsors will donate money to that particular cause (in exchange for your eyeballs on their ads). It's an easy way to take 20 seconds out of your day to help a good cause for free.

The part that I find particularly interesting is that, once you've clicked, along with a big patchwork of advertising you get to see how much "stuff" was funded by yesterday's clicks: 66192 cups of food for hungry people, 24990 bowls of food for rescued animals, etc. The numbers are usually around this order of magnitude; several thousand books donated, several thousand children vaccinated, etc. But when I started looking at the breast cancer numbers, I got a shock: consistently, about 5.5 free mammograms were funded per day for underprivileged women. Compared with 25000 bowls of food for animals!? Does that mean that people are over four thousand times more disposed to help animals than to help women get health care?

Of course, it dawned on me shortly afterwards that one mammogram is probably significantly more expensive than one bowl of cat food. This realization was borne out by their daily results page, which gives more detailed statistics including the number of clicks received per day for each cause. I guess it speaks well for people's priorities that more people are clicking on The Breast Cancer Site than on The Animal Rescue Site (not that you shouldn't click on all of the sites; but if you're going to pick one over another, I'd rather see people getting the care than animals).

I hope you join me in putting these sites in your browser's bookmarks, or on your daily calendar. It's an easy way to make a difference, at no cost to yourself.

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