A note of thanks, and a request.

As we approach the end of what’s basically been “Vaccines Month” here on Violent Metaphors, I want to take a moment to sincerely thank all parents who have responsibly vaccinated their children. In particular, I want to acknowledge those parents who had concerns about vaccines, but took the time to educate themselves and trusted their brains instead of their fears. Not only are your children safer because of your decision, but you have also helped protect countless children (and adults) who you will never meet.


I see your efforts and appreciate them!
I see your efforts and appreciate them!


I also want to express my gratitude to everyone who has participated in the comments, and taken a moment to share these posts with others. You may have gotten into uncomfortable discussions because of it, but know that your collective efforts are far more meaningful than any single post we can write here. By taking a public stand against pseudoscience, you have given voice to the thoughts shared by the majority of people, who are far too often intimidated by the clamoring of the fearful minority.

This site has had quite a bit of traffic in the last month, and the ad revenue that such traffic has generated is therefore considerably greater. When that happens, I typically donate a chunk of the proceeds (above what is needed to run the site) to a charitable organization. Usually I give it to an animal rescue organization (a cause dear to my heart), but I thought that since the amount this time was likely to be more substantial, I’d ask you to vote on which charity you would like to support.

Here are the options that I’ve thought of (in no particular order). Please let me know your preference (as well as any concerns you might have about these particular charities) in the comments.


The Autism Science Foundation : http://www.autismsciencefoundation.org/

Doctors Without Borders: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/

Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital: http://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=f87d4c2a71fca210VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD



38 thoughts on “A note of thanks, and a request.

  1. Beth Culp Johnson April 27, 2014 / 5:48 pm

    Doctors Without Borders would by my choice. Thanks for asking!

    • RL June 5, 2014 / 2:38 am

      As they are recommended, I would like people to consider something you will probably not hear in their literature and the press. I do not live in the US and I see this and other organizations at work. If they would appear and offer medical assistance to all in need, I would agree. The truth is that DWB is operating, together with other NGOs to further certain political goals that have nothing to do with any humanitarian issue. Tey also waste your money by maintaining a presence in some places with excellent, affordable care to further those political goals. Mediacal giving overseas is very lucrative. they count on the general lack of information about the rest of the world offeredd by US media.

  2. Max Riethmuller April 27, 2014 / 6:11 pm

    All do a great job of furthering the cause of vaccinating, but donating to the autism group would be ironically appropriate. Further quantifying the nature of autism can only help to show the autism vaccine link for the myth it is.

    All are exceptionally and equally worthy causes however

  3. EmWed April 27, 2014 / 6:18 pm

    I agree with Max; so much research money has been spent debunking the vaccine/autism link, and it could have been better spent on trying to determine the real cause, or helping develop better treatments and supportive services. And yes, because of the irony.

  4. Dr. Mom April 27, 2014 / 6:19 pm

    I would pick the Autism Science Foundation as well, for the reasons stated by Max. He said what I wanted to but far more eloquently.

  5. Dr.T April 27, 2014 / 7:15 pm

    Please consider doctors without borders. They do so much for those who have nothing, including vital vaccination programs.

  6. Mark Gallagher April 27, 2014 / 7:16 pm

    I would hope the Autism Science Foundation would be able to continue both research and counter-disinformation campaigns to reinforce the work you have done. Thanks for taking the time and care to shine some light down this particular shadowy alley of ignorance.

  7. Joel Shearer April 27, 2014 / 7:21 pm

    Autism Science Foundation seems fine, although your more usual donation to animal welfare would have been my first choice.

    I trust there was no burn ban in place in the county where that picture was taken. At one time quite recently almost every Texas county had one in place.

    • Jennifer Raff April 27, 2014 / 7:25 pm

      Not to worry–this picture was taken over a year ago 🙂

  8. J. BANKSTON April 27, 2014 / 7:31 pm

    My vote would be for Doctor’s Without Borders – do a lot of good in areas of the world that need their attention.

  9. Paul Strode April 27, 2014 / 7:55 pm

    Autism Science

  10. Gabriel April 27, 2014 / 8:37 pm

    I’m voting for the Autism Science Foundation. It was a tough choice, but I do enjoy a good dose of irony on top of it being a great cause.

  11. Quinn April 27, 2014 / 11:12 pm

    I favor Doctors without Borders. They do great work. Also, sadly, I fear that donating to a charity with “Autism” in its name night lead people unfamiliar with its work to conclude that there are unanswered questions about vaccines and autism. Remember how they reacted when thimerosol was phased out?

  12. mike vlachos April 28, 2014 / 3:04 am

    It would seem fitting that any ad revenue from the debate on autism, should go towards the Autism Science Foundation.

  13. Dave Burke April 28, 2014 / 6:36 am

    Médecins Sans Frontières! 🙂

  14. plasmarules April 28, 2014 / 7:23 am

    “I want to acknowledge those parents who had concerns about vaccines, but took the time to educate themselves and trusted their brains instead of their fears. Not only are your children safer because of your decision”

    I’m sure Ryan Mojabi’s parents feel a whole lot better having received your thanks for vaccines permanently disabling their son.

      • Jayne Robertson April 29, 2014 / 2:32 am

        Dave, I don’t see how these articles would tend to favor one charity over another. Most of us have read many such. Is there a particular point that I am missing?

        • joelopines April 29, 2014 / 4:31 am

          What you’re missing is that the post was a reply to the misinformation promulgated by plasmarules’ sarcastic post, and the articles refute that post.

        • Dave Burke April 29, 2014 / 5:52 am

          As joelopines says, I was replying to the unsubstantiated rhetoric from plasmarules.

    • sothisisholland April 28, 2014 / 8:52 am

      I think they probably felt a whole lot better after the millions they received last year under fraudulent circumstances.

      Their son is not permanently disabled, regardless of how he came to be an autistic person (but I do want to point out, we all know how autism begins truthfully). If you or his parents view him that way, it is because of your issues and prejudices. Stop using people who are delayed or vulnerable to spread your lies.

  15. sothisisholland April 28, 2014 / 8:50 am

    Hi, hope you don’t mind me following your blog. I am an autism mom who vaccinates. I have gained a serious distaste for the anti vaccine movement. They have contributed to an extremely negative portrayal of autism. As you can see, by the comment above. If you mind me commenting on that, you can delete later. 🙂

    So jealous of your traffic! I started my blog because I really feel that the anti-vaccination so frequently speaks for us mothers who have autistic children (parents, really). We need our own voice. If you so much as google vaccination or autism, the results are overwhelmingly negative and inaccurate. It is sad.

    • Amanda Jubb April 29, 2014 / 6:19 am

      I hear you. Neither of my children deserves the kind of vitriol they attract, just by being autistic. They are wonderful children, and I wouldn’t change a thing about them; and it saddens and/or enrages me to hear parents categorize their autistic children as somehow inferior to others. Anti-vaxxers–by nature a suspicious, poorly educated lot, severely lacking in critical thinking skills–are (some of?) the worst.

      I hope the day comes when people who talk about wanting to destroy the (autistic) child they have, in favour of creating a new, non-autistic child, get investigated by social services as a matter of course. To my mind, telling all and sundry that you wish you had a different child, or that your child is a lost/broken/ghost/shell, particularly where that child can see it, is emotional abuse.

      • Jennifer Raff April 29, 2014 / 2:01 pm

        I am so sorry that you both have to deal with that message from some people 😦

        • sothisisholland April 30, 2014 / 8:49 pm

          It can be hurtful. More scary, though. Because some day, I won’t be here to guide her through it or explain the world around her. But if anything, it gave me a voice. Not every family with an autistic child feels there are missing puzzle pieces.

  16. armothe April 28, 2014 / 12:39 pm

    Autism Science please.

  17. Ben S. April 28, 2014 / 12:57 pm

    I want to thank you for being such an awesome person. Between the incredible content of this site and the fact that you’re donating your excess revenue, I’m pleasantly astounded. I wish there were more Jennifer Raffs in this world.

    An avid fan.

    • Jennifer Raff April 29, 2014 / 2:01 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Ben 🙂

  18. smoodyb April 28, 2014 / 2:17 pm

    St Jude Children’s hospital, and a close second to the Autism foundation, if the source of the donation was made ironically clear. thank you for do this good thing with your windfall (?) of income.

  19. Anonymous April 28, 2014 / 3:55 pm

    I would vote for The Autism Science Foundation, but any of these would be a good choice.

  20. david fileccia April 29, 2014 / 4:40 am

    You have no idea of true journalism and have ignored mountains of contrary evidence- why don’t you balance up your fictional piece.

    Sent from my iPhone


  21. Amanda Jubb April 29, 2014 / 6:22 am

    Doctors Without Borders for the donation, please and thank you for asking. Autism is a very interesting topic, but it just isn’t as big an issue as, you know, disease and injury in the developing world.

  22. Jay O'Shea May 2, 2014 / 12:16 pm

    Thank you, Jennifer, for your efforts to protect all of us from diseases that, a decade ago, were nearly eradicated in the developed world. I don’t know why this issue gets represented as parents versus science. Unvaccinated children get sick, incur lifelong disabilities, and frequently die from preventable disease. As a mother, I couldn’t imagine exposing my daughter to unnecessary risk and I couldn’t stand seeing her suffer, knowing I could have prevented it.

    • Jennifer Raff May 2, 2014 / 12:23 pm

      And MOST parents feel the same way as you, which is why it’s so frustrating to me that a small minority of people are the ones whose voices we hear the loudest. Thank you for your comment.

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