Sunday, June 10, 2012

Giving Anonymously

I have known, ever since I started attending Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA about half a year ago, that it was a special church, for a variety of reasons. Now I have yet another reason for believing that that's true.

Lionel and Misha Thompson attend our church. Unknown to me until now (believe it or not), Lionel created a charity called Giving Anonymously.

What makes it rather sad is that I am just now finding out about the charity, and I could really use the kind of help I might be likely to receive from that charity. (I've been staying in a local homeless shelter ever since December 2011, and that is not my idea of a good time. The two strokes I had in June 2011 and February 2012 didn't exactly help, either.) But it would seem that the "geniuses" in our government here in Washington state have decided to erect barriers to the functioning of the organization. (And people wonder why the "Occupy" movement was so popular last year.)

Here's a small photo of Lionel. (I hope he doesn't mind, but I "stole" the photo from his web site, and I slightly enhanced it in Photoshop Elements, after converting it to grayscale.)

Here, according to Lionel's web site, is the explanation of their current troubles:

Giving Anonymously is temporarily unable to process gifts as of May 30th. We don't think this is the end of GA, however, we believe this exciting work has only just begun.
Since 2007 Giving Anonymously (GA), a registered charity in Bellingham, Washington, has facilitated anonymous peer to peer giving throughout the USA and to a limited degree internationally. GA is run by a team of volunteers passionate about helping people generously give to those around them in need. To date $2.3 Million has been given through GA (currently averaging $80,000 each month). What we love most about GA are the 1000's of stories and thank you messages (
click here to listen to a few) from people helped by friends who have given to them through GA. Since 2009 the New York Times, NPR, Real Simple Magazine and NBC have run stories which included, or were about, GA.

In 2010 we inquired to the State of Washington about whether or not GA should have a money transmission license. After two years of analyzing our charitable model WA State decided that we needed to not only register for a money transmission license in WA State but in every state of the USA where we transmit money. As the cost of licensing in every state is prohibitive for us (estimated to be $700,000 and $150,000 each year thereafter) we have been advised by the State of WA and our lawyers to partner with an organization licensed to transmit money between people. We are looking for such an organization that can help us by receiving money from our donors and remitting money to our recipients.

You can help us by spreading the word about this – please feel free to share this video and link to this page. If you would like to know when our service is up and running again please
leave a comment with your email address.


The Team at GA

Yeah, that's just what the world needs: Legal requirements which make it harder for people to be good neighbors. I'm sorry, but it's hard for me to resist being sarcastic when I am made aware of such stupidity. Something is really messed up in this world when our government is intent on hindering efforts to be obedient to Jesus. I'm sure they have all kinds of rationalizations, but the bottom line is that a source of help which has been available to lots of needy people is temporarily unavailable.

In the short term, there isn't much I can do on a practical level for Lionel, in terms of financial help, but I can certainly help to spread the word about his predicament in relation to the good work he has been doing.

In the longer term, I also hope to help raise funds for a variety of charities (such as World Vision) with my own fund raising project (called the Artistic Rescue Project). Clearly, I need to add Giving Anonymously to the list of organizations I hope to help with funds acquired in that manner.

I think that Lionel and I can operate in a mutually beneficial manner, by helping to raise funds via the sale of artistic products and tickets to artistic events, such as Christian concerts.

You can contact Lionel at the contact information shown at

Feel free to leave a comment on this blog post, and feel free to contact me at as well.

By the way, the sooner you help Giving Anonymously to resolve these issues and get back to doing what they've clearly been called to do, the sooner my own financial situation will be resolved to my satisfaction. Or at lease I hope that that's the case.

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