When you do a good deed, get a receipt, in case heaven is like the IRS”
Buenos Aires – I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by Jude of Lulu of London spa, who has recently helped found an organization called Aesthetic Argentina. Now, the website that was up at the time looked more or less like the website of any commercial cosmetic surgery clinic, and offered free or low cost cosmetic surgery consultations and referrals to one and all, to those who didn’t want to pay the high bills most surgeons charge, or as an alternative to what they term “medical tourism”. That didn’t seem like what Jude had contacted me about, a charitable organization, so we corresponded back and forth a few times.
It took a little time, but the website more clearly reflects what the organization stands for. The former statement is still, more or less true, but it’s now clear that all donated funds, and they do operate on charitable donations and “pay what you want” pricing, that exceed their operating costs are donated to (as of now) two specific charities. One is Plástica Infantil con Excelencía en el Logro, a nearly twenty year old organization that provides free reconstructive surgery to those in need, with a specialization in cleft palate repair. The other is Aid for AIDS, an international organization that provides health education, HIV prevention, medications, and community assitance in developing countries and for non-citizen immigrants to the U.S.
Both look like worthy charities to me – I guess the question would come down to donating directly to either or both of them, or donating to Aesthetic Argentina, where part of what you donate is used to fund cosmetic surgery consultations (or, of course, if you feel in the need for a nip and tuck of your own…). Either way, if you’re looking for somewhere to make a difference with a charitable contribution, the information is there. I do like the intent behind what Jude and her co-founder are doing, and I’m glad they’re doing it – however, I think for anyone not looking for their own surgery referrals and/or information, the direct contribution makes more sense and puts more operating capital into the hands of those doing the charity work.