The best thing about the volunteer experience with The Miracle Foundation in India is that you are allowed to help in the way that you are most comfortable--they way that you can do the most good. Whether it's giving needed resources to growing children, teaching them, or sharing new experiences, your actions are going to provide a lasting hand-up and open their world. You can dive in and play and sing with kids all day, or help organize projects, or use your skills in cooking or plumbing or whatever. The core philosophy behind the TMF is sustainable growth, and as a volunteer you become part of that process.
I was fortunate to be a Miracle Foundation ambassador to Anwesha orphanage in Agartala, India in Fall of 2016. Science in a Suitcase, an Austin non-profit dedicated to spreading STEAM education to underprivileged children, organized volunteers and fundraising to get us over to India where The Miracle Foundation connected us with Anwesha to help bring STEAM education to some of the most beautiful children I've ever interacted with. We did simple science experiments with the young kids, and taught programming and engineering concepts to the older kids using the LEGO WeDo robotics platform over the course of three days.
This was one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences I have ever had the opportunity to participate in! These kids have so little, yet are still so full of life, hope, and happiness. All the mundane challenges of getting over to India ready to help these kids melted away the instant we drove up to the Anwesha gates in our Tuk-Tuks and saw the whole orphanage waiting eagerly to receive us with all the pomp and circumstance they could muster. We taught programming, did some neat experiments, and setup a sustainable robotics program in the Anwesha computer lab with trained mentors during our time there, and every time one of the children looked me in the eye beaming with excitement and happiness, I just wanted to hug them.
The Miracle Foundation created this opportunity for us, and I am forever grateful. Heather Shaw of the Miracle Foundation in Austin helped us organize our preparations for the trip, and once we arrived in India, all the logistics like food, transportation, and lodgings were taken care of. Barbara Joubert was absolutely incredible in the way she took care of us in India and the way she loves every single one of these kids, she is an inspiration. Thank you Heather, thank you Barbara, and thank you Miracle Foundation!
The Miracle Foundation is a nonprofit that truly does amazing things for orphans around the world. The founder's story fuels the organization with a fierce passion to create Centers of Excellence where these children in need can thrive until they are reunited with their kin. Keep making miracles happen!
The Miracle Foundation has a strategy. And it is working. They aren't just tossing dollars and riding missions statements, but executing on a coherent and amazing strategy.
It was beautiful to see what they do. I went in to my work with them (teaching robotics at one of the homes) a skeptic. I had watched the ted talks and listened to stories, but there is always a part of you that wonders what they do with your donations, how real the story is, how affected are they by corruption in the country the work in, etc.
And man, it was beautiful. Spending a week teaching Robotics to the kids in the home, I saw the joy that permeates every facet of the home. The kids have the opportunity to be children. They are not forgotten orphans. The eat and play, they have mothers. They get individual attention, teaching, training, equipped to stand on their own two feet.
When we came, there was a new girl that had just come. You could tell, because she didn't smile or talk or interact. And I saw so many times the mothers in the home or staff would go hang out with the girl and comfort her. And we did too. Just such an amazing community feel.
I had the privilege going to an orphanage in Agartala, India with The Miracle Foundation in September 2016. I didn't know what to expect. I have never met an orphan in my home country, let alone India.
I met the nicest group of children when I was there. They didn't have much in terms of material possession, but they were loved. They were well-fed. They got good education. The 12 rights of children that The Miracle Foundation believes in really showed at the orphanage. The children probably had sad pasts, but they were so happy at the orphanage.
In the short four days, the children passionately called me "Dada," which means older brother. I don't have any siblings, but had so many littler brothers and sisters that week. I was there to set up a robotics program. I don't know how many lives I changed that week, but it certainly changed mine. It put in perspective how prevailed I am simply because where I live and from.
People say India is incredible, but children were even more so, every single one of them. I can't wait to see them grow up and make India even more incredible.
My wife Raka, our children, and I have been actively involved with the Miracle Foundation for over ten years. We have made annual trips to orphanages run by the Miracle Foundation for the past four years, and I have served as Chairman of the Board for a number of years.
The numbers speak for themselves: Miracle Foundation helps 2,500 kids, which translates to over a million meals, hundreds of thousands of medicines, and thousands of textbooks. Imagine a typical household with two kids and multiply what happens there by one thousand, all with a maniacal attention to detail to meet each child’s needs!
More than just the numbers, however, I am a big fan of the Miracle Foundation due to what I call my “3 Ps”:
a) Process: Miracle Foundation has a proprietary Thrive Scale—this is a methodology created to measure and enable systematic change in their homes. The process emphasizes measurement followed by investment at greater rates as a home/organization hits its critical Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). In my world, this is venture capital meeting a non-profit: something as magical as true fusion of oil and water!
b) Persistence: Miracle Foundation has an amazing team in the U.S. While the staff is 10,000 miles away from the children they serve, it makes positive change with uncompromising integrity in India. This is a testament to the team's sheer perseverance and grit for the kids they serve. It is impressive they’re able to succeed and make this vision a reality.
c) People: The Miracle Foundation staff is among the most amazing people we have ever encountered. From a place of selflessness, motivation for the well-being of the kids, and very astute business thinking, the team has conceived and implemented a technology-enabled methodology (with tremendous attention to detail) that creates the maximum impact for every dollar generated.
I have seen many companies, have sat on many Boards, and have worked with amazing CEOs and entrepreneurs. But there is something about the folks at Miracle Foundation that makes you want to help them with their mission to empower the world’s most vulnerable children. Supporting them is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I was blessed to travel with other Miracle Foundation ambassadors to meet the incredible children of Balgram Poynad. These children were inquisitive, happy, and funny. They were fed delicious, nutritious meals and were in excellent physical condition. Their living conditions were clean and comfortable, and their home mothers were loving and caring. The children discussed their aspirations for their future with no limits on possibilities. The Miracle Foundation has changed the lives of these incredible young people. I hope many others will support this vitally important organization!
The journey that I took with the Miracle Foundation was extraordinary. I was not expecting to go to an orphanage and meet children that was so full of joy . There is no doubt that these kids are loved . Those children was very well taken care of . I know that they are getting an education because we walk them to school . This group of kiddos was very happy and healthy . I got to see first hand exactly how much the donations we make to the Miracle Foundation is providing for these children . I have to say it is very impressing . I will continue to support those children by donating to the Miracle Foundation.
Love lives in the eyes of the Miracle Foundation's children. The kids in the care of TMF are filled with light and joy. They laugh with their stomach muscles, play competitively but fair, dance gracefully and whole-heartedly. They are being raised by hard-working, impressive women who are referred to as house mothers....and mothers are definitely what they are. The model created by The Miracle Foundation is beautifully implemented. It provides these precious people with not only what they need today, but the tools and hope for bright futures. We left them in the most tender of hands, in a place filled with goodness, with mothers and brothers and sisters whose devotion to each other is something that the whole world should be able to see. I recommend you go see it!
I have been donating to them for years now. They are going to do great things for orphans all over the world. Their system is transparent, measurable, and SO obviously working when you visit with the impacted children!!!
This is my fourth trip to India with TMF and I am sure it won't be my last.
I just returned from my third trip with the Miracle Foundation. I also promised one of the girls that I would come back and see her so there is a fourth trip in my future.
The whole experience is amazing - the kids are a joy, the staff at the homes operate with transparency, TMF staff always makes me feel safe and supported in a new place, the other ambassadors are also a huge part of the experience.
We donate monthly with plans to continue that indefinitely.
Highly recommend this charity!