Notre Dame Donations

Are the billions of dollars going to the right place?

Notre Dome Donation Protesting. (Photo Credit –

Maddie Stilson, Staff Writer

The Notre-Dame de Paris, often shortened to the Notre-Dame, is a Catholic cathedral built between the 12th and 14th century, and is still seen as one of the best examples of French Gothic Architecture. It is truly beautiful, featuring a massive spire and huge stained glass windows. The cathedral is highly praised by not only the French but by many people all over the world, with 14 million visitors traveling to see it every year.

Tragically, beginning on April 15th of this year, this cathedral began to burn. Though the cause remains unknown, officials treated the fire as an accident most likely linked to recent renovations to the building. Soon, the cathedral was engulfed in flame.  

After 9 hours, the fire was finally contained. According to an online newspaper The Chicago Tribune, most of the damages included the collapse of the massive spire, as well as one of the main congregation rooms. The outside of the building was charred, and the roof had fallen. Despite these losses, most of the stained glass windows, along with paintings and various statues were salvaged.

This unfortunate event sparked social media to explode with memories of visiting the cathedral as well as wishes and prayers to Paris. The crazy results, however, were the insane amounts of donations that went directly to the repair of the cathedral. Currently, almost $1 billion have been funneled towards this cause.

This fact is highly controversial. Yes, the cathedral is a worthy cause of donations, as it is a very important historical landmark and holds many attachments the French. But it poses a poignant question.

If that much money is going to this problem, why isn’t there more interest in donating to issues both global and local in Paris that are more pressing than the salvaging of the cathedral?

For example, according to the website Business Insider, in France alone, unemployment rates hit 10.4%, the highest it has been in 16 years. Homelessness in Paris has increased by 21% over the past year, and in 2017, 8.8 million people were living in poverty.

If $1 billion can be raised for the Notre Dame within a week, then there is ample money to aid other social emergencies.

With $1 billion, massive advancements could be made in the world’s problem of poverty. According to CNBC, the global poverty rate is at an all-time low of 10%. The possibilities to help this statistic would be endless with enough donations.

With $1 billion, the constant struggle to help the environment could largely progress. The awareness of global warming is no longer the problem, it is the ability to take action.

This is not to say that the money going towards Notre Dame isn’t going to the right place. It is a heartfelt sentiment and is uniting the people of Paris as well as the rest of the world. Along with that, however, it is proof that there is plenty of money that can be donated to other causes.

It can also be argued that the money is being donated blindly, as no officials have any idea how much money and time the cathedral will need to be rebuilt, whereas there are numerous problems that could be immediately aided given such donations.

Similar funds can be and should be directed to other pressing issues that have a direct effect on our global population.