How did this project get started?
You see a picture of a starving child or hear about a major disaster in an impoverished area of the world that nearly always has very serious problems and wonder if you can help. You have some surplus items and wonder if someone in a desperate situation could use them. (Often that is not practical, but sometimes it is–such as donating medical supplies. Giving money to well-chosen, reliable organizations may be more beneficial.) Maybe you have thought about going to such a place and sharing some of your skills and other resources. Sometimes you can do so without leaving your home country by providing volunteer help to the kinds of organizations on this website.
These kinds of thoughts have been on my mind ever since college days. After retiring from teaching high school social studies, I (Bruce Carr), led a group from my church to a very impoverished area of the Dominican Republic. That experience, and nine other mission trips back there and to Haiti and Nicaragua, inspired me to start gathering material for what has become this website.
How do you find the information for this website?
It is through the internet, printed material, travel, attending over 30 conferences, referrals, and various other sources. My church is part of American Baptist Churches/USA, and that gave me a personal reason to include them. I also have material from many other Christian faiths and from numerous secular organizations. I try to choose organizations I feel are especially helpful and do not want to have any included against their will. My biggest challenge is to try and keep up with what is going on regarding the approximately 400 organizations on this website. I usually spend several hours daily working on it. However, I feel that the time is well-spent and that my website is my most effective form of outreach and ministry.
Why do you frequently choose not to include organizations that are doing a good job somewhere?
Thousands of faith-based and secular organizations do wonderful things in specific places. It’s far beyond my ability to list all of them, so I concentrate on material that can be used in as many areas of the developing world as possible. Nearly all of the organizations on my website are involved in at least five countries. The only exceptions to this five country minimum are a few that are doing very unique things in an individual country that are needed elsewhere and could be used a model in other places. I also include several internet search engines that can provide information about many subjects in almost any specific place.
Why does about half of this information relate to medical subjects?
My family and I have been fortunate to receive excellent treatment for several major illnesses, and this website seeks to show appreciation for that. The vast majority of the world’s population is not able to get the level of medical care we received and die long before my age (79). By providing this kind of information, I feel that I can help save lives and help people attain more productive futures. I want to follow the biblical mandate in James 1:22 to “be doers of the Word and not hearers only.”
Are you looking for more information to be included in future website updates?
Yes, this is an ongoing effort, and I hope to continue it for as long as possible. In the past year (prior to October 2018), I added more than 75 new organizations. I look forward to receiving your suggestions for improvement and hearing about mistakes.
Do you personally make financial contributions to people who contact you through this website?
Almost never. I prefer giving to my own church’s missions programs, to some of the other mission activities I am directly involved in, and by covering the costs of this website and related expenses. My main goal is to provide information instead of giving money.
Do you charge organizations anything to be on your website?
Not so far. That might be necessary someday. I used to give away many copies of my printed document (same name as this website and with nearly the same contents), but I don’t do so very much now because almost everyone has access to the internet. Referring them to my www.HelpingWorldwide.org is more practical and up-to-date than making printed copies of what is now a 82 page document. Several volunteers have helped me. Knowing that our efforts are improving lives in so many of the most impoverished places is the best form of remuneration.
Your website says “.org.” Does that mean you are an organization?
No. It simply means that my activities are non-profit. More other non-profits use “.org” than any other ending. I am simply one person — Bruce Carr — trying to serve God and help humankind.