Welcome to the 100 Friends Project!
I am Marc Gold and I started this small project 23 years ago, in 1989. The idea is really very simple. Every year many people contribute to the project and I take the money to developing countries and look for the neediest people I can find. I then put the money to work in the most compassionate, appropriate, culturally compatible, constructive and practical manner possible. You put the donation into my hands and I put the funds directly into the hands of the needy individual or family, or a small trusted grassroots organization helping them.
How did it start?
The project began in 1989, when I visited India for the first time. I began thinking about going there to help people in 1956 when I was 7 years old, under the influence of my father, Albert Gold (Benefit Magazine 100 Friends story, September 2007). When I finally got to India, I met a Tibetan woman in the Himalayas who had terrible ear infections, and I was able save her life with antibiotics that cost about $1.00. For another $30 I purchased a hearing aid that restored her hearing. I was shocked to learn that something so important could be accomplished with so little. I also briefly met Mother Teresa while doing volunteer work with the dying in Kolkata, India and she encouraged me to continue this type of humanitarian work.
I began raising money among my friends, accepting whatever they could give, as little as $1 or as much as people were able to donate. Then, in 1992, I traveled to India with over $2,200 in donations, with the goal of distributing it as directly and intelligently as possible. The rest, as they say, is history. Funds have been donated in India, Thailand, Cambodia, Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Iraq, The Philippines, Myanmar, Pakistan, China, Angola, Laos, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Mozambique and Turkey.
New article about 100 Friends appeared on April 5, 2011 in the Christian Science Monitor:
Article about 100 Friends in The Star, Malaysia – 2011
‘Don’t worry about saving the whole world. If you save one person, that’s good, and if you save two, that’s even better.’ So said Mother Teresa to an American traveller in 1989, and he’s been running with that advice ever since.
100 Friends gets first national exposure!
On December 19th, 2010 an article about 100 Friends appeared in Parade Magazine. Over 500 newspapers carried this story – they have a circulation of 32.4 million and a readership of nearly 72 million. We had a big response so take a look if you haven’t seen it yet: The Shoestring Philanthropist