Emotional stories and imagery are used by many organisations to raise funds. Homeless children on a billboard, victims of domestic abuse, starving children are all effective in creating an emotional response. However do the stories and images need to be real? Are “fake” stories which relate to actual real life examples ethical? “St. Joseph's Indian School in South Dakota sends out 30 million mailers every year. Inside are stories from Native American children who go there who need your help.” The school raised $51 million in donations last year. However the stories are not of actual students – even though they are portrayed as real.
“The school admits, Josh Little Bear is not a real person but they insist, Josh's story is a true story of the very real and challenging situation that far too many children face. The school admits they do push the edge on their marketing.”
Question: What do you think? Do you highlight a real student’s hardship and family dysfunction or give a level of anonymity with a made up “character.”
Source: South Dakota school uses fake children to make millions