Please, let's just donate to the Give That Girl a Massage Fund May 24, 2010 4:24 PM   Subscribe

I have some lingering discomfort with the outcome of the epic Russian Girls Possibly Rescued from Trafficking threads, but the initial Metatalk thread is closed up.

If I'm dredging up something that's been settled somewhere and I just missed that, feel free to close this up as well. I was out of town all weekend and just finished reading through the original AskMe and Metatalk threads. The emotional rollercoaster was pretty intense, but by the time I got to the end of the thread, I found myself feeling really... disappointed. And angry with some of our community. internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 (kathrineg, to me, since I'm slow with people changing their usernames) stepped up to the plate and is playing a huge role in a coordinated effort to do something awesome for people in a tough situation. People are giving her a hard time about money that was donated by other community members to help her out during this? She just had surgery. She's looking for work. She and her husband are putting people up in the room they would normally be renting out, and are among those of us who probably live paycheck to paycheck, or at the very least are in a tenuous enough financial situation to not have a huge savings piled up for these sorts of expenses.

As much as it's well and good for money to be donated to anti-human trafficking organizations, I would really like to see some of the money donated to Kathrine remain in her hands if some is left over, to give her and her husband a bit more of a cushion, rather than people who may not have even donated to them shaming them into donating it to a different charity. Please?

Yeah, I feel weird talking about someone else's finances publicly like this. But it's already been discussed in the other thread ad nauseum, and I'm unhappy with how that seems to have turned out.
posted by booknerd to MetaFilter-Related at 4:24 PM (10 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

What would you like to see happen as the result of this MetaTalk thread?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:28 PM on May 24, 2010

I ask because for the most part the self-determination angle seems like it's how it's going to play out right now but opening this back up seems like it's more likely to start the discussion up again. If you have issues with certain people in the community, that ight be worth taking it up with them but what I took away from the other thread was that while there are some people who are uncomfortable with how things played out, especially after dollar amounts were tossed around in the Newsweek article, most people were okay with IFDS,S#9 managing this with help and oversight from some other MeFites and friends. Was that not how you felt?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:30 PM on May 24, 2010

I guess I would like to see enough of the posters who originally donated to her specifically saying, "This money is for you regardless of how much is spent on K&S" to reiterate that for Kathrine to feel okay publicly saying, "Thank you, we'll keep it and it will help us." Then maybe some hugs and beers all around?
posted by booknerd at 4:32 PM on May 24, 2010

Sorry, fake's last comment specifically said, "And when we figure out who the most helpful agencies are (which can only be proven with time and actual help), we will share their names here for people who would still like to donate. And if we have any money left, the money will go to them." It was ambiguous whether that ""we" was encompassing the whole awkward situation with Paypal, or what.
posted by booknerd at 4:34 PM on May 24, 2010

I would like to see enough of the posters who originally donated to her specifically saying, "This money is for you regardless of how much is spent on K&S" to reiterate that

I haven't seen a single donator complain about how any dollars might be used, it just seems to be half a dozen people that didn't donate wringing their hands over what might happen.

From everything I've read in the threads it seems the money was way more than originally intended (for covering dinner and drinks that first night) but after it is figured out what sorts of bills might come up (flights, lawyers, etc) any extra would be donated to an appropriate charity.

In paypal it's also easy to refund money back to the people that put it up, so I suspect anyone that wants to go that route could get a refund by asking.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:38 PM on May 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

That may be more for her to work out with those individuals, or to just go unstated (to the degree that it even is unstated at this point, it seems like a lot of folks already spoke up to that point in the last thread). I'm not sure a public reinforcement of that is either necessary or a great reason to start up a new thread.

Money stuff is sensitive; it's certainly been one of the lightning-rod issues for criticism about how this has all played out, and that kind of reinforces our general desire to avoid unplanned please-send-me-cash stuff on the site especially given a couple of years-ago incidents of bad history there.

I think in this case we're talking more than anything about kind of subpar handling of very improvised circumstances with no ill intent, and as an odd outlier I'm not too worried about it specifically and trust IFDS to deal with the money in a reasonable way, but it's kind of a given that stuff like this is a perception nightmare even if everything is handled in good faith behind the scenes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:38 PM on May 24, 2010

I think everyone who actually contributed already feels this way, but if it'll help:

This money is for you regardless of how much is spent on K&S.


I'd really like to see the gnashing of hands and wringing of teeth brought to a close on this
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:39 PM on May 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

While I appreciate booknerd's intentions in starting this thread, and even agree with him that a few people were being borderline nasty about the good people who stepped up to help the women involved, I don't see this thread going anywhere good (pretty much everybody who gave money made the suggested disclaimer in the earlier thread) and I personally think this should be closed unless the mods see it going in a better direction than a rehash of all the crap that was clogging up the other one.
posted by languagehat at 4:46 PM on May 24, 2010

I mentioned this over at bingo's site as well. People chipped in, via me, about 1K to go to getting fake to NYC. While we were hoping we'd have a frequent flyer option, that didn't work for the holiday weekend so he bought a regular old plane ticket with that money (which I transferred to him yesterday) and will have maybe $150-200 to spend on food/whatever when he's in New York. If people are uncomfortable with the money situation they should contact IFDS,S#9 and I'm sure she can refund it or let them know what's up if they have questions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:46 PM on May 24, 2010

So if we can leave it at that for now and open up a new thread if there's something that needs to be discussed at a sitewide level, I think that would be good. No big deal booknerd, but a lot of us are still working through a lot of logistics and this may not be the optimal Next Thread. Hope that's okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:47 PM on May 24, 2010

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