I have this fantastic cousin (second cousin or 1st cousin once removed- does anyone know how that works?)named Marc Gold who just came to stay with me for the first time ever. It was probably the first time I have ever hung out with him without a whole family event going on and it was one of those moments where you realize that you have just made a connection that will have a really meaningful impact on your life. I could easily start telling stories about him and his life choices, and the multitude of funny things that he's experienced that were so funny and well told that I could probably re-tell them and they would still be funny. You might not know me, but that isn't my strong suit. I'm one of those people who accidentally tells the punchline before the joke. Anyway,I want everyone to know about his work and I hope you will follow the link to his website.
He is a world traveler and altruist. He is a one man show providing people in need with what he raises through his project called The 100 Friends Project For the past 22 years, he has been travelling to a wide variety of countries distributing funds for people who are in great need and some organizations that help them. Sometimes his work is pure charity- he will literally hand someone some cash to help them live through a winter, or he might buy someone a bike so she can get to school or work. Sometimes he sets people up with something that will give them more opportunities to better their situation or follow a dream. He pays the tuition for a poor village girl's education, or buys medicine that helps to save a life (sometimes that might only cost him a dollar- no kidding). He contributes a bigger sum annually to a place called the Center For Children's Happiness that helps the children who were living in the garbage dumps of Phnom Penh- he says he can see lives transformed in a short time. He builds schools, libraries, and community centers. He gives micro grants to folks so they can start businesses. He only asks for people to pay it forward and he has amazing stories about that aspect alone.
He raises money by holding fundraisers here in the States. I just held one for him last Friday, where he told stories and had a slideshow. He also has had some documentaries made on the work he is doing, which you can find on his website.
This man and his organization are the real deal. He raises money and gives the money out where he can. He is well connected and has a large network of people in many many communities that he can trust to help him decide where his money might do good work. I hope you find his work interesting and might give him a bit to help him do it. He has told me what $5 can actually do and it is astounding.