Over the past few years I've been searching for the perfect charity. Except for the times when there're natural disasters in China, I regularly donate to American Red Cross. But a message passing among Chinese immigrants a few months ago alerted me to the Red Cross executive director's half a million dollar pay (search on charitynavigator.org), which appalls me. So my search continues.
In the last year or two, I came to know an organization named Half the Sky (www.halfthesky.org). The more I watched it, the more I like it. The executive, apparently an American, spends her time and energy focusing on one thing, helping Chinese orphans in mainland China. They take abandoned kids, strive to provide a loving care environment and turn them into happy, confident and productive members of the society. For young kids, every effort is made to find them a permenant loving home. For older kids, Half the Sky provides them education opportunities, so they can become self-supported adults. Compared to monthly $35 per African child a Houston church sponsors, Half the Sky with its efficiency needs $25 for a Chinese orphan. We have choosy friends that donate to them and we become their donors as well.
I don't work for Half the Sky and the organizers don't know me. But I'd like to promote awareness of this California-registered charity. I regularly receive their newsletters, which are always centered around the kids. Their work during the Sichuan earthquake deeply touched me. The latest news from them asks for donation, as usual, but unlike in other years, they're experiencing particular difficulty due to slowdown of the US and global economy, and many people's unemployment. I encourage those that still have a job and can lend a helping hand to the Chinese orphans to consider supporting Half the Sky, even just for this Christmas.
P.S. I don't know if anybody ever wrote this, but I want to tell you that charity donation of complete willingness, I do mean absolute willingness free of any pressure, is benefitial to our health. The feeling of being content when you do that is pure and religious. You do a good deed, and you're rewarded accordingly.