Young North American Founders of Charities to Help Children & Others

Whitney Burton, a college freshman, raised money to build a school in Sierra Leone and staff it with teachers. She explained,

To achieve this goal in my high school in Texas, the Building Futures group and I raised money through different fundraisers over two years. We organized car washes and gift-wrap and rummage sales. Many adults thought that our sights were too high; I was told that we should cut our fund-raising goals in half. But we were determined, and we stuck with our efforts. We persisted even when it seemed we would not reach our goal of $9,600 US. This amount would pay for the building of a school, a washroom, one teacher’s accommodations and training for a year, blackboards, desks, and supplies for the kids. After two years, and to the surprise of many, we not only reached our goal, but also surpassed it by so much that we were also able to build a water program. Through this I learned that everyone can make a difference in the world; age is irrelevant.[1]

Brothers Garrett and Kyle Weiss started FUNDaFIELD “run by kids to provide soccer fields and equipment to African schools.”

Girls Learn International was founded in July, 2003, by Lisa Alter and her two teenage daughters, Arielle and Jordana. They believe that global youth, in particular girls, have a crucial role to play in leading the movement to affect change for girls and women all over the world.” They pair school chapters in the US with schools in other countries.

Two young Canadians founded TakingITGlobal in 1999 for peers to exchange ideas among peers—“a global support network to encourage young people to get involved and support those who want to do something.” Michael Furdyk and Jennifer Corriero explained, “We see it as a pathway to action.” Only 20% of members are from North American and the site includes 248 languages (

Joey Cheek, Olympic gold and silver medalist in 2006, gave all his $40,000 bonus money to Right to Play, a non-profit organization that establishes sports programs for children in impoverished countries. He got a lot of publicity and money for the cause he believes in.[1] One person can make a difference.

*Anastasia Fullerton and Madeline Petrow, two teenage cousins from opposite sides of the U.S, founded Cuddle Buddies in 2004 as a community project.  Since then it has grown to an international mission distributing over 15,000 stuffed animal “buddies” to nonprofit agencies in California and Connecticut, as well as orphanages in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Madeline explains, “Our goal is to establish chapters throughout the country so that more children can have a ‘buddy’ to hug and help them through the tough times.”

 *Stefan Lyon, a 12-year-old San Francisco author and activist whose working to make the world a better place. See


International poverty:

Grameen Foundation helps the world’s poorest, especially women, improve their lives and escape poverty through access to microfinance and technology. Mr. Yunus won the Nobel Prize for his banking with small loans to groups of five.

Read his book Banker to the Poor, 2003.


Acumen Fund invests patient capital in a variety of institutions, reflecting the diversity of business models that can be effective in reaching the “base of the pyramid” (BoP)—or the billions of poor without access to clean water, reliable health services, or formal housing options. The fund loans or invests in larger projects than Grameen. Read Jacqueline Novogratz. The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World, 2009.


Education in Pakistan and Afghanistan


I’ve started a small co-ed literacy program in NW Pakistan.


Global Women:

The Global Fund for Women advocates for and defends women’s human rights by making grants to support women’s groups around the world. Since 1987, the Global Fund for Women has granted over $71 million to more than 3,800 women’s groups in 167 countries.


The Environment

Take your pick from the best.

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