I've thought about that too, but figured any money given to an organization that advertised through TV would either go to covering miscellaneous overhead, advertising costs or any number of corrupt individuals. I just picture some fatass lighting up a cigar (bought w/my money) while walking away from the photo op with a kid who drinks out of the same river he shits in. I'd be more inclined to volunteer time with a local kid who could really use a big bro. I mean, the TV gives us the shake weight, right? Christians Children fund doesn't stand much chance w/me.
That is the exact image I had only he was eating a steak as well. I guess it does make more sense to do it locally though...I kind of already do that with mental illness....just wanted to help those in absolute poverty crushing rocks for cash.
They have a 4% administration fee, one of the lowest I have found, plus I worked for them administratively state side in the accounting department and the numbers checked out. So, that is my testimony.
This December my wife and I drove to deliver food hampers to low income families. In the past years we've just donated the groceries, this year we drove to some 20 households to deliver food in housing board apartments across the city. It was organised by the Boys Brigade. I would definitely do this again and across other periods in the year.
The workplace is always an idea to leverage some additional bucks for the cause, provided you don't work for the equivalent of Monty Burns. We did the whole adopt a family thing and personally delivered all the gifts/food to about 5 families the week before xmas. The employer matched contributions 1:1.
I have a family friend who's sponsored about 4 kids for 10 years now. She has their pictures (just about one per year) and letters on the wall in the kitchen and her family has done missionary work in Africa. You could have a very positive experience if you signed on with the right organization. A couple dollars a month really does make a big difference.
Okay, I'm back for a bit. First off, good on you for helping out. Donating even a LITTLE money is a HUGE help.
Sponsoring a child is a great way to get involved and "feel" involved. Earlier I wrote about CARE and world Vision (WV). Both of which are amazing organizations that do amazing Humanitarian work with the poorest of the poor. (Ever hear of a "care package"? yep, that's from CARE). WV is a "strong" christian organization if you're into that. Care isn't overtly christian if you'd prefer to go that route.
When my wife and I first sponsored a child years and years ago, we used WV. It was a great way to "feel involved" and it gave us a name, place, location, and all that to research. Catholic Relief services is also a great organization. http://crs.org/ So is the International committee of the Red Cross http://www.icrc.org/eng/index.jsp
If you are interested in Development (rather than Humanitarian aid), I would look at AED http://www.aed.org/
Global giving allows you to directly give to very small (or large) organizations doing EXACTLY what you're interested in. It is essentially a platform that verifies the veracity of organizations and provides a way to search for organizations. Great stuff. Let's say (for example) you're interested in children's development via sports in Kenya... just type it into the search and you'll get results.
Kiva allows you to give microloans directly to individuals. If you are a HUGE libertarian, this is the organization for you. Directly provide capital to businessmen/women. It's a loan, not a donation, so the money should be returned, allowing you to loan again. (Global giving probably is a good place for the libertarians as well).
ummm... I guess I'll end my rant for now. If someone has a specific question, I can try to answer it.
I sponsor a child through the Christian organization WORLD VISION. They are a pretty big organization that doesn't seem to flaunt themselves all over the TV. I have seen their adds on the internet but I had first heard about them while at a Casting Crowns concert.
Anyways, it seems to be a really good organization and my money seems to be making some difference. my sponsored child (he lives in Uganda) and I, have exchanged some letters back and forth and I have even sent him a package of hot wheels/coloring books/colored pencils/ and stuff like that. I get his original letters in his language and then on teh back an interpreter sends a translated letter.