So you don't want your money to go towards some non-profit president's humble little Italian mansion, join the club. Suzette and I are real picky as to where we and Saddleback give. The groups we support are loving and bringing hope to our neighbors worldwide, and are we choose to spend our own personal time and resources. All are highly financially accountable and many are members of www.ecfa.org voluntarily submitting their books and receipts for forensic type auditing. You won't find many tele-evangelists as members of ECFA. Go figure. And remember, your kids are learning how to live life by watching your video way more than by listening to your audio. Let them in on the giving.
JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), among many things, is a currently working on the development of an artificial pancreas for Type I diabetics. This not only will revolutionize the diabetic world, but it will save the life of my little niece, Grace. Read a little more about it here.
ANLM is where Saddleback gives most. They're strictly financially accountable through their wise and strong board in Portland, OR and through the ECFA. 91% of donations in Rwanda go to the kids and 9% to admin. There are about 3000 kids sponsored and in schools. They have orphanages, a street kid feeding ministry and single mother and young men's vocational training centers. Ever thought of sponsoring a little kid to eat food and go to school? The kids usually only eat on Mondays and Thursdays until they're sponsored. We've spent a long time there with our kids. This place is amazing.
Mercy Ships Mercy Ships has a large crew of volunteer surgeons, dentists and other medical staff who reconstruct deformities and help out the extremely medically needy all over the world.
NOE International is where I was when I had my first bag made. I was teaching English at one of their centers to the underprivileged kids to break the cycle of poverty. This place has had a huge impact in the lives of thousands by giving them a superior education and hope for the future. The Mexican government is so impressed, that they're matching certain funds that they raise 3X1. They're very financially accountable and recently received accreditation from ECFA.
Fly Fishing Collaborative are mobilizing the fly fishing community to create sustainable solutions to human trafficking. So far they have setup 11 Aquaponic farms at villages in Thailand, Kenya, Rwanda and other poor locations where people have a difficult time feeding their kids and themselves. Sex traffickers target these poor locations and promise by sending their children to their "camps" that they will be provided with education and food, and in exchange the family will receive money. Instead of creating a community for these children, they are taking 5-7 year olds and placing them in the sex trade, where they are never heard from again. The goal of Fly Fishing Collaborative is to setup aquaponic farms in these poor areas so that the people can create sustainable food, income and homes for themselves, and keep the villages from being targets for sex slavers offering a "better deal" for their children.