I am involved in multiple charities as the head of a school service learning group. Miracles in Action is truly one of my favorites. It meets all of the criteria that I demand of a group which I/we support. It is based on the needs of the population and has been able to do so, by finding out what is wanted by the population that MIA serves, and then working to meet that need. Monies raised are well managed- as seen by the numerous schools, water projects, stoves etc.
I went to Guatemala at the request of MIA to evaluate their schools program and to provide teacher education. As I've come to know this organization, it is amazing to see what a handful of dedicated volunteers can accomplish! Since the first trip, MIA has continued to provide a high level of teacher training and opened a resource center. The resource center provides materials to schools in rural areas where teachers and students have nothing...and I mean nothing!
I am a volunteer, donor and help on the extended board of this incredible organization. This is a story of how 2 people, with a heart and a purpose can make a difference in the world.
Helping children become educated about the possibilities in the world vs. the poverty they see; giving mothers the ability to earn a living in their home while caring for their children; manifesting newly designed stoves so families can eat without the fear of being burned and scared; having water in the village vs. having to walk 10 miles with 35 pound water buckets of the mother's head all but a few of the things this charity ensures for the Guatemalan families they serve.
Instead of standing around wondering what they could do, Penny and her Mom found a need and addressed it with a strategy of sustainability. Penny, now continues the journey in her Mom's memory as she helps these families become
a part of a new possibility of life.
It is heart warming to see the results of their efforts. 29+ schools in 5 years and more on the way. My husband and I are so impressed with Penny's efforts and feel so blessed to be involved, we have pledged school #33.
We also use this charity to teach our children and grandchildren about giving vs. receiving; about paying it forward. This year they all honored us with a gift to Miracles for Chirstmas. It was the best gift ever for two reasons: 1) Penny got some support for her efforts 2) but our children and grandchildren have shown they have learned a life lesson - what more could parents or grandparents ask then to have taught your children/grandchilren something as great as giving!
God Bless Miracles in Action and God Bless Penny and all the volunteers and Supporters about the globe!
I first got involved with Miracles in Action as a donor because I believed in their mission of helping the poorest of the poor to help themselves. After going to Guatemala several times, and seeing how Miracles in Action stretches the dollar and 100% of donation dollars go directly toward the project, I wanted to do even more. I am the donor for school #15 in Hue Hue and am now on the board of directors. I have never seen an organization of more dedicated volunteers. There are no Miracles in Action employees. We are volunteer run. We take donors to see their projects so they can see where every dollar goes. This organization truly helps the poor through education, vocation, and sustainable projects.
As Founder and a dedicated volunteer Director, there are several achievements that I am proud to tell you. We are an all volunteer non-profit oganization, where 100% of the donations go directly to projects, none to salaries and overhead. I office at home and keep expenses low. Any operational expenses are covered by the income we make in selling handicrafts made in Guatemala in the Mayan women's cottage industry. Selling handicrafts is the #1 fun, easy, and profitable activity that our volunteers enjoy. Not only does it raise funds for "Miracles", but it provides an income to the women making these beautiful things. Additionally, we apply the extra money made in sales to stoves, school supplies and other projects to help the women artisans - going beyond fair trade. Another achievement that I am proud to share is that in 6 years we funded the construction of 29 rural primary schools in the mountains of Guatemala, the installation of over 1600 safe vented stoves, 20 water systems, and 100s of water purifiers - all projects meeting our mission of helping poor families to help themselves.
I joined Miracles in Action on a trip to Guatemala in January 2007 and was so impressed with their networking, dedication, knowledge and ability to get real sustainable projects done. Also impressive is that 100% of donations go toward projects -- the minimal overhead is paid by selling Guatemalan handicrafts -- which not only pays for the small overhead, but also gives jobs to the women who make the crafts.