Project (RED): Capitalism meets charity
This holier than thou attitude is undeserved and, frankly, offensive. Gap and the other participating companies have been able to produce a great deal of funds for those who genuinely need it. Praise, complements, admiration may be in order...but disdain certainly is not.
Project (RED) is not intended to be a direct donation charity. This is by designe. It has distinct characteristics from a direct-donation charity that make it an ideal and unique complement to the Global Fund. While you can, of course, donate directly to the Global Fund, Project (RED) fills in a different niche. Trendy suburbanites can buy trendy clothes, jewelry, and phonese and Africans benefit! In this sense, many people who otherwise would never think to donate to the Global Fund are helping to fight AIDS.
Yet, partnership between retailers and charities is not new. It has been highly successful in the recent past following the Tsunami that devastated Indonesia et. al. Amazon.com and others produced copious tsunami relief simply by allowing people to donate during 'checkout'.
The tsunami that devastated millions of people living on the coasts of southern Asia and eastern Africa caused a philanthropic outpouring from people around the world who gave generously to help the survivors of the tragic disaster. It also brought to light a new trend in charitable giving, with Red Cross experiencing record breaking donations through online partners and retailers that raised more than $23 million. Leading the way on this new trend, Amazon.com collected more than $15.7 millionDo those who criticize Project (RED) think this is also useless? I laud Gap and the other participating companies. I will continue to buy their products, and I would encourage others to do so as well.