Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Charity with the biggest bang for your buck.

I am not usually big on making donations, partly because in most cases it frustrates me how insignificant any contribution I can spare is in comparison to the scale of the problem. For example, it makes me mad that for every 100 bucks I might give to an environment protection charity, someone out there would spend $100,000 or perhaps rather $100 million polluting the environment. So I feel I'd rather go tell all my friends about it so they could vote the bastards out and vote the more responsible ilk in.

But there is one organization that I feel very different about: The Smile Train. What they do is provide free surgery to children with cleft lip. What is great about it is that surgery only costs 250$, and every single surgery is equivalent to giving one person a gift of normal life, instead of life of perpetual mockery and isolation. It really does seem amazing that a measly sum of money could have such an enormous effect. Yet in developing countries there are many children whose parents cannot pay for this operation.

As Warren Buffett says: “A $250 surgery that can save a child’s life sounds like a pretty good investment to me.” And it is hard to argue with that.

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