To find out how efficient and effective your favorite charities are, and how they spend your money, try this link. http://www.charitynavigator.org/
Amma is the head of one of the most amazing charitable organizations in the world. They charge no fees to attend any of her world-wide events. Everything is run by volunteers and in the form of a donation — sales of books, meals, tee shirts, etc., of which 100% of the profits go to her charities.
We go to see Amma every year. She travels and gives people hugs. You get a free token and get in line for a hug when it’s your turn. Amma has children’s orphanages, schools, disaster relief, free housing, and a hospital. Even though she sees so many people every year, she always remembers everyone personally. My sister and I play music for Amma when she is in the U.S.
Amma donated $46M to tsunami relief, and $1M to hurricane Katrina victims. She sent people into Haiti after the earthquake and has set up an orphanage there. This was one of the first charities I donated to when I was younger.
Mother Miracle — www.mothermiracle.org
This is a small organization with two founders with a beautiful vision. They are from the U.S. and gave up their careers and prosperous lifestyles to move to India and start this school after visiting the country and feeling a call to do so.
The school serves children from extremely poor backgrounds. The idea behind the school is to give the children a proper education and guidance for their future dreams of college or professional life, and help them to help their families break out of the poverty cycle. The school grew from 20 – 80 children in one year. They now have over 300 children!
It costs $40 a month to sponsor a child. It costs a few U.S. dollars a day to feed a family of five in India.
When I met the founders and asked them about the kids, it made me very sad to hear that the children had nothing, no toys, and rarely enough food. So years ago, when the school was smaller, we sent eighty stuffed animals, one for each student, and some extras for their siblings. We sent some of our stuffed animals and some we got from a thrift store. Mother Miracle sent us a short video of the kids getting this box of toys, something none of them ever had. They were so excited when they opened the box. They were screaming with joy. When you’re giving, you don’t need anything in return. Just seeing the happiness that you gave to someone else is the best gift of all. I think so, anyway.