I had the opportunity to visit an old client of mine this week. Children International was one of my best customers for more than 20 years. In all the years I worked with them I felt privileged to be a part of their stated mission, to better the lives of children in impoverished countries. They currently support the basic needs of 335,000 kids in 11 countries. Based on my own experience, you will not find a more dedicated non-profit organization anywhere in the world. Of all the money they raise each year, more than 80% goes to their programs. That’s an incredibly high percentage among charities. They do it so well that all it takes is $22 a month to support one child. That’s less money than some people spend at Starbucks in a week.
The reason I think this organization is significant is simple. Children are the future of the world. Here’s what Dr. Karl Meninger had to say about the importance of raising good children, “What ‘s done to children, they will do to society.” I think this works both ways. If we neglect our children they will grow up to be unhappy and destructive but if we care for them and help them, then they are more likely to become productive and positive adults.
We all worry about global terrorism and we have many American forces trying to stop it. What if we focused our efforts on third world children? Let’s try to raise them up to respect human life by demonstrating compassion for others. That’s what charities like Children International do for kids. They give them a better reason to live. I think most kids, if given the choice, would choose a pair of shoes and a meal to the offer of, “here’s a gun”. Unfortunately, 300,000 kids doesn’t even scratch the surface in terms of the number of children at risk worldwide. The rest of them are easy targets for terrorist training. We will never defeat terrorism until we eliminate the root cause, poverty.
My fondness for Children International is the product of many years of working together. They eagerly asked for my professional advice in my area of expertise and treated me like one of their own employees. I genuinely felt like part of their mission and I did the best I could to give them their money’s worth. I knew full well that every dime we saved would go to good use helping kids. There aren’t always many opportunities in business to make a profound impact but these people gave me that chance every day for 20 years. “Kindness begets kindness” seems to be their basic principle for success and it works.
There are lots of aid organizations in the world but none that I have direct knowledge of and therefore I can’t speak to their performance. Children International meets every standard I can think of and you would be hard pressed to find a more giving charity to help. I truly believe that helping children with the basics of life is the single most important responsibility for all adults everywhere. If my words have given you reason to care then contact them at http://www.children.org and tell them Guy said to call.
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