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Link: - In Touch.
I love Christmas shopping. Especially since I came across a charitable gift catalog, and while casually thumbing through it, found that $25 would open the door for a girl in China to attend school. I could donate this gift in the name of my teacher-sister. Perfect! For $60, I could buy rice seedlings for a farmer in Cambodia to feed his family and generate income. What better gift for my environmentally minded agriculturalist son? And just $25 for a baby goat to almost single-handedly lift a family from Senegal out of poverty—who wouldn’t treasure such a Christmas present?
I had so much fun matching a donation to each person on my gift list. But later, as I began to see more and more statistics concerning misused funds by non-profits, I began to wonder: Did my hard-earned cash actually make it to that little schoolgirl? Did the farmer get his full allotment of seedlings? And what about the family and its budding goat business? Did my gifts really impact the people for whom they were intended? If I had such questions, I was certain others were also asking. So, for all of us, I determined to find out “the rest of the story.” I would follow the donations all the way to the people who received them.
Because the catalog that first hooked me was Partners International’s Harvest of Hope, I asked them for permission to follow up on their projects—no strings attached. They agreed. So, toting tape recorder and camera, I set off—for North Africa, Senegal, and Sudan; India, Cambodia, Indonesia, and China. And, oh, the things I saw!