I have served on the Board of Directors of the Good People Fund (www.goodpeoplefund.org) for the past 4 years because it is one of the best – and unique – ways to support people who need a helping hand. Occasionally on this blog I have highlighted opportunities for readers to sign petitions or to help particular charitable projects in need of funding. Given that now is when many folks think about year-end donations, I thought I would share a letter I recently sent to some friends about the fund. I hope you will read it and download the annual report – or send away for the printed version. It tells the stories of the 60 amazing Good People whom the fund supports in their mission of making our world a better place.

Here’s the letter:

“Last month I received word of this story from the Good People Fund:

“The request came from an attorney who works as a public defender. We have interacted with her several times and are always stunned by the needs she comes across and how relatively small sums of money can have such a profound impact. This situation was no different. A single father raising three young children on his own, one of whom has a serious mental illness, is evicted from his apartment and forced to bring his young family to a homeless shelter. In the rush to relocate he is forced to place some of the family’s belongings in a storage facility since the shelter limits personal items. Under normal circumstances, public assistance will pay for the storage costs but in this case the bureaucracy failed when the caseworker who handled the claim never filed for payment. With a notice from the storage company that all of his personal items were to be auctioned off in a few days, it seemed as if there was no solution — until we were called and asked if we could help. Within two hours we had all of the documentation we needed and called the storage company to pay the outstanding balance.”

As a board member of the Good People Fund I have heard many such stories: families about to be evicted onto the street, families with no food in the pantry, or an unaffordable car repair threatening the ability to drive to the job that supports a family – all situations quickly and anonymously “fixed” by the fund.

This is in addition to the 60 extraordinary Good People in Israel and America highlighted in the new annual report (can be downloaded in the right column here). There you will read how these individuals bring their passion and energy to fixing the world in their own special way – starting small non-profits, often with innovative strategies that collectively help many thousands of people who are hungry, isolated, and with no where else to turn.

I have met with many of these good people. I walk away from those meetings humbled and in awe, not just from the help they provide to the folks they serve but also from their personal sacrifice.  Many give up jobs and money for their missions, and they devote their lives to it.

The past five years have been tough times for those in need. In Israel, the social safety net is a pale shadow of what it once was. In the USA, budget cuts and sequestration is decimating the social service sector, leaving those most in need helpless in ways that are hard to imagine. Meanwhile, our Good People are there, working quietly under the radar to fill the gaps. Because their overhead is so low, funds go directly to serve those most in need, maximizing the effect of every dollar.

You can make a general donation that will be allocated by the fund to where the need is greatest or you can make designated donations to support just those Good People who are of most interest to you. I hope you can read their stories in the annual report and join me in supporting their work.

Best wishes,

Allen”

Please forward this on to those who might be interested. Thanks!

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