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dannymilks

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3 Reviews

What matters to me

Nature, healthy food, actively caring people.

CA USA


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AVIVARA
October 6, 2013

I have been giving to them since 2009, and do so with complete trust that they stretch each dollar to the max. I spent two weeks in Guatemala with Avivara, visiting their schools and witnessing their success. Gustavo, Anne, and Gary are incredibly smart, talented and dedicated educators. They work relentlessly to provide a better environment for the poorest students in Guatemala, which may include providing school supplies, hot meals, and educating the teachers (who themselves have been poorly educated).

A donation to Avivara is the best use of your money. I try to steer 90% of my donations to Avivara, even though I work with several non-profits in my region and make occasional donations to them. I want to improve the world, and my money goes a lot further in Guatemala, especially in the hands of Avivara. Just like if I want to protect the environment, I'd have a lot more global influence with my donations by conserving land in the Amazon rather than near my residence in California.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing. They are as good as it gets!

More feedback

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Donor

Save Mount Diablo
April 9, 2012

I wanted to find a nonprofit that was close to home, would have a direct impact on our area, and was a worthy cause. I found Save Mount Diablo through this site and was so impressed with the immense amount of work they accomplish every year: land acquisition, educational hikes, land restoration, fundraising events (hike, bike and horse races, a silent auction, etc) and more. The vast number of programs made it easy for me to find a place as a volunteer. I chose to work with promoting the Diablo Trails Challenge 50k, and administering donations for the Moonlight on the Mountain gala. The staff here is extremely welcoming. They all knew my name after my first day. I have comfortable office space to work at, or I can choose to work from home on certain tasks. I can choose when I work, weekday or weekend, and if I work alone or with a partner or committee. Finally, I really feel like I am making a difference. I didn't realize that 40 years ago there were only 7,000 acres protected. Now there are 100,000 spread throughout 38 parks, but there are still 80,000 more unprotected acres.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my enjoyment of the numerous parks in the area that Save Mount Diablo has helped to protect over the last 40 years.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

continue growing it to create an even greater presence in the region, which would help raise more funds and inspire more advocates to protect the remaining 80,000 acres.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

none.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I was introduced to many new people who care about the environment as much as I do. I have sharpened my FileMaker Pro skills.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Like the staff here really cares about the Mount Diablo area, and that the volunteers are much appreciated AND crucial to protecting the land.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Promote the Trails Challenge 50k marketing effort. Administer donations for the Moonlight on the Mountain. Help to establish a consistent and interactive social media profile. .

AVIVARA
March 21, 2012

Avivara's multi-pronged effort is aimed at making a long-term, sustainable difference in the health and education of the Guatemalan people. This non-profit is run on a shoestring administrative budget, with almost no overhead, no advertising, and minimal fundraising. Basically, you are guaranteed that nearly all of your money is going to aid students who really, really need an extra helping hand to give them the chance to escape systemic poverty. My wife and I saw this first hand, as we spent two years traveling around the worlds, sometimes working with non-profits. Through a mutual connection we found Avivara. We stayed with Gary and Ann for two weeks and learned all about their program. We were incredibly impressed with all aspects of Avivara. Gary and Ann are retired educators from Washington, who have dedicated their lives to this cause. They, together with Gustavo, empower the local teachers with better training, teaching tools and school supplies. They work with the community to provide hot breakfast every morning so that the students can focus on their school work. Avivara also provides scholarships to students for continuing education. Most school children drop out between the 2nd and 6th grades. The Avivara scholarships help the family with the burden of sending children to a middle school or high school, which typically requires a daily bus ride, new books, and other school supplies. Avivara also runs a local after-school program in their headquarters. This is the single best non-profit I have seen. Your dollar goes a long way in Guatemala, but that's no reason to be stingy with your donations.

More feedback

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Why did you make your donation at this time?

We make donations to Avivara for several reasons. First, we do it because we know the money is needed and Avivara will spend it wisely and with powerful results. We also donate to Avivara as a gift, instead of giving physical goods for a wedding or birthday. Finally, we donate to set an example that if even people like us (who are technically below the US poverty line) can donate, then our friends and family can do the same.

MY ROLE:
Donor