Recently we’ve been church shopping, and ironically, something happened during one of these Sunday morning excursions recently that made me think about the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
We were trying out this large mega-church. It is a giant facility, and it has all kinds of programs for kids (which I liked a lot), as well as state-of-the-art technology and cool music (which I also liked a lot).
The problem was that I found out that this place is building ANOTHER large facility across town. The pastor stood up and gave this long sermon about how people needed to give money … and the irony is that he’s not even going to preach there. He’s going to preach at the current place, and they are going to do a satellite feed over to church #2 on a big screen.
And the cost for all of this?
Get ready, because this is going to knock your socks off.
Now, I walked out of there, and other than the fact that I was personally affronted at this obvious waste of resources (which could be devoted to feeding starving people in a Third World country, among other things) … was that there are really great places out there that DO deserve your attention and money.
I was comparing in my mind how this church had every conceivable tool and gadget … and how the Clearwater Marine Aquarium was busting at the seams. Yes, they are caring for animals, not people, and some could make an argument that people are more important. But when you see how these animals touch lives like my child’s? Well, to me, there’s just no contest.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium is trying to raise funds for a better facility. When we were there in July, they were halfway to their goal — $12 million.
That’s right — by comparison to that church that wants $36 million, this amazing place caring for sick dolphins just needs $12 million. They’ve received about $6 million.
The Hollywood film made it seem like a rich guy had taken care of all of the needs. That was a fictional part of the feel-good story, but I have a feeling that it might have done some harm to the fundraising efforts, because people think the aquarium has been taken care of.
So if you do have some extra cash sitting around — and I know it isn’t easy with this economy — but if you can spare a little, please consider giving to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
And in case you’re wondering … we’re not returning to that church I mentioned. If they can’t devote resources in a responsible manner, I also question whether their teaching is correct. But that’s for a different blog.
I can tell you as a first-hand witness, however, that the Clearwater Marine Aquarium is doing right by the money it is receiving. You can be assured that your gifts will be used to brighten the lives of kids like Neil.
Thanks for your attention.