It's been an interesting weekend. Major drama and flameouts and accusations and things coming to light that are important.
What struck me the most were comments made by two people in the community. Both broke my heart by their generosity and kindness that had been exploited and abused by members of this community.
Their comments made me go back to an idea that I have had for quite some time. Something that I think would positively serve the community and also protect members of it as well.
A Daily Kos financial aid fund.
We have various income levels on Daily Kos. Some of us are well off. Some of us are struggling financially. I have often come across stories and post that I would have liked to offer financial support.
I don't have a means to do this unless I personally contact that person and I don't want to embarrass anyone or assume anything. I also don't because I like my privacy (or illusion of it).
What if we had a financial aid fund? A fund that would give out funds to anyone needing a hand. I'm thinking mortgage payments, phone bills, college tuition, grocery money, doctor bills etc.
I have been poor. Poor as in 20 bucks left until my paycheck one week later and I still need bus fare and food. I have been too poor to see a doctor both because I can't pay the doctor bill, have no health insurance and get paid hourly and have no vacation time.
I was always one disaster away from complete financial ruin. I empathize and can sympathize on how stressful it is to live life that way.
I think we could have a fundraiser once a year. Here is how I would structure it. Feel free to add/disagree/comment on these.
1. No one gets to see who donates and how much. This is purely for charity. Daily Kos would see the final number and that is it. If you need acknowledgement on how generous you are, go donate to something that will name a building after you.
2. 100% of Funds need to be used every year. The point of the fund is to spend the money not hoard it.
3. We allocated x% to certain areas. We vote as a community. For example: x% on scholarships, x% of medical bills, x% on loan forgiveness.
4. There is a community who decides on how the funds are distributed. Accountability is a good thing and when it comes to money, more than one pair of eyes are needed.
5. No hard cold cash is given out (with exceptional circumstances). Unfortunately there are scammers and as much as I want to trust people, I don't. The fund can pay a bill for someone or buy a hotel room or whatever the need but no hard cold cash.
6. You can only make one request a year. Again this is to protect ourselves from scammers. How you make that request is up to you. I think there should be both a public and private way to do that. Need money to attend a protest or important cause. Got into Harvard and need a scholarship, let us know. Need money for groceries and don't care to make that public. Completely understand.
7. It doesn't need to be a hardship. It could be something cool and fun. A cool idea or group that you need some help getting off the ground.
8. A full audit (not of the people who received funds) but of what and where the money went once a year. Quarterly updates.
9. This might be controversial but it is one of the reasons I would like a fund. Any person soliciting for cash or any other goods from any other member on this site using Kosmail is banned. After reading somethings this weekend, I think this rule is needed.
So what do you think? What am I missing? Any legal/tax implications I am missing?