in Personal Reflections

Lunar Transformation Donations

Beginning on the New Moon of December 13th, 2012 and going through until the Full Moon of December 28th, 2012, I’m donating $100 every day to a different non-profit organization whose mission contributes to the welfare of humanity and to the preservation of our planet, without which the beauty of the moon would go unwitnessed.

$1,600 Donated

Photo: Current Phase of Lunar Transformation

Lunar Transformation Donations

December 13th, 2012
$100 donated to BlinkNow.org (Kopila Valley Home and School)
“To create a self-sustainable living community for destitute children that provides their most basic needs and also contributes to post-war recovery and peace in the nation of Nepal.”

December 14th, 2012
$100 donated to Charity: Water
“90% of the 30,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and unhygienic living conditions are children under five years old. Many of these diseases are preventable. The WHO reports that over 3.6% of the global disease burden can be prevented simply by improving water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.”

December 15th, 2012
$100 donated to Alternative House
“The mission of Alternative House is to facilitate the creation of a society in which violence against women will no longer exist.”

December 16th, 2012
$100 donated to The Philippine Community Fund
“Our goal is to permanently improve the quality of life for the poorest of the poor Filipino families who deserve a better chance.”

December 17th, 2012
$100 donated to Skyla Knight Benefit Fund
“Skyla was diagnoised with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma at the age of 15 months, she has been in treatments since then and she just turned 3 years old. She is now starting MIBG therapy.”

December 18th, 2012
$100 donated to Adventure for Good
“Using Adventure for Good in the favelas of Brazil to build the first-ever climbing wall for a marginalized community. Youth in these underprivileged communities are faced with an array of difficulties and negative influences like drugs, violence and gang life. Climbing can offer these youth a positive alternative to their daily struggles and the construction of a modern climbing wall will provide them with this opportunity.”

December 19th, 2012
$100 donated to Nepal FREED
“Make[ing] education more accessible for the children of Nepal [...], maintaining a learning environment where traditional Nepalese cultural values can flourish [... and], aid[ing] the local health post in widening the scope of its care.”

December 20th, 2012
$100 donated to the Appalachian Mountain Club
“Promoting the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region.”

December 21st, 2012
$100 donated to the The Umbrella Foundation
“Seeking to relieve the impact of poverty and war on the children of Nepal through projects which promote education, vocational training, and community enrichment, so that they may grow up to become responsible, contributing citizens of Nepal.”

December 22nd, 2012
$100 donated to the The Street Culture Project
“Mentoring and supporting under-serviced youth. Using social entrepreneurialism and positive adult role models, we connect with youth to help them work through changing their lives.”

December 23rd, 2012
$100 donated to the World Wildlife Fund
“building a future in which people live in harmony with nature”

December 24th, 2012
$100 donated to Anna Kham’s Orphanage
“giving orphaned children a home”

December 25th, 2012
$100 donated to Pencils of Promise
“supporting a world with greater educational opportunity for all”

December 26th, 2012
$100 donated to the Tarahumara Children’s Hospital Fund
“helping insure the health and well being of the Tarahumara”

December 27th, 2012
$100 donated to Food for Life
“bringing about peace and prosperity in the world through the liberal distribution of pure plant-based meals prepared with loving intention; serving more than 1.5 million plant-based meals daily”

December 28th, 2012
$100 donated to Haiti Outreach
“To collaborate with the people of Haiti to build and maintain community-initiated projects that advance their development.”

Charities to Donate to in the Future
Prishan Foundation
Shark Trust
Occupy Sandy


How all of this started

My initial intention was to donate $1,000 to Maggie Doyne’s Kopila Valley Home for orphaned children and Kopila Valley Primary School in Nepal. I learned about Maggie and her work more than a year ago and I’ve been wanting to help support what she’s doing ever since.

When my friend Matt Maderio put together a fundraiser for his 25th birthday to raise $25,000 so that the Kopila Valley Primary School could purchase a school bus and shorten the multi-hour foot commute that so many students were taking to class each day, I was inspired yet again.

As I prepared to make the $1,000 donation, I unexpectedly found myself asking why I was donating to just this one organization. Why not to some other organization? I realized that it was Maggie’s story that inspired me, her passion and her commitment to making a difference in the lives of others.

But Maggie’s isn’t the only organization that’s making a big difference in the world. There are many other organizations doing good for humanity and for the planet and for causes that I’m equally as committed to helping.

So instead of just donating one large sum of money to one organization, I’ve decided that I will make several smaller donations to various organizations that are doing positive things and working toward causes that I believe in.

Maggie Doyne and Matt Maderio helped inspire this idea, so Maggie’s orphanage and school will be the first to receive $100. I will update the list at the top of this page every day for the next sixteen days as I choose organizations and make donations. The photo of the moon will also change to reflect the current phase.

If you know a reputable non-profit organization that is doing good, please share the organization’s name in the comments below.

Why am I doing this?

This is not a race. It’s not a competition. I’m not looking for any attention. I’m writing about what I’m doing here so that I can share my journey, but I’m donating because I feel a planetary social responsibility.

I’m doing this because I want to give back and because I recognize that I will always have more than I need, because no matter how much I give today there will always be more waiting for me somewhere down the road.

Everything you give without expectation the universe returns to you without hesitation.

The intention behind the donation is what matters, not how much is being given. It’s the act of giving without the expectation of reward that’s important. Any amount is worth giving when it’s given without strings attached.

I’m not rich, but I am privileged.

As of this writing, I have a $960 US dollars in my bank account. I have about twice that in savings. I’m not rich by American standards. In fact, I’m poor by American standards. But I don’t feel poor. I feel privileged.

I am lucky. I am a privileged member of Earth’s society, a member of the top fifteen-percent of humans who can afford to eat three meals a day. I feel a sense of responsibility to contribute to the welfare of our human family and the preservation of our home.

Photo: Fulfillment, Consumption, Enough

Why the lunar transformation?

This was all very spontaneous. It happened over the course of a few minutes. I went from being prepared to make a $1,000 donation to a single organization to deciding that I was going to make several smaller donations spread out over several days.

When I looked at my calendar and noticed that it was a New Moon, I thought that making a donation for each day of the moon’s transformation into a Full Moon would be a fun way of doing it.


Photo: Lunar PhasesMoon photos by lrargerich

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20 Comments

  1. Nice idea. I won’t be doing the lunar thing, but you’ve inspired me to do something similar. My wife and I will be giving to a different charity every day until Christmas.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  2. Raam, I really support you in doing this generous work for the good of the planet and for all of us. Although I cannot match your generosity, I too am giving as much as I can this month to feed the hungry and to protect the environment. I hope lots of other people will be inspired to do whatever they can to help–because it’s going to take all of us together, doing whatever we can, to save humankind.

  3. This is so inspiring, thank you! I will consider doing this myself, it is such a lovely generous gesture that you are doing.

  4. I find the story of Jane Walker amongst the people of “Smokey Mountain” in the Philippines particularly inspiring. She has founded an organistion called Philippines Christian Foundation. Smokey Mountain is a landfill site where the poorest of the poor people make a living by searching for recyclables amongst the gargage.

  5. I am confident that you will receive awesome and gemerous rewards for every gift you give. Here is why I was recently walking home from the an internet cafe late at night, I was feeling somewhat elated as I had finally managed to print out my e-ticket for my flight the next day. I had overcome some tedious technical difficulties to do this. I was anxious to get that flight because the weather report said that a super-typhoon was approaching in a few more days.
    As I walked home through the streets I encountered a homeless woman sleeping on the streets. It seemed her only possessions were to plastic bags filled with plastic bags gathered for recycling and resale.
    I discretely gave her 100 pesos without waking her (about $2).

    My flight home was delayed in Singapore due to technical problems with the aircrafts high frequency radio and as a result I missed my connecting flight in Darwin. As a result the airline felt obliged to give me 24 hours free accomodation in a 5 star hotel in Singapore with gourmet meals provided and also another 24 hours luxury accomodation in Darwin. These uncheduled stopovers added another dimension of interest to my trip.

    Now I am actually a religious or superstitious person and I am not claiming that there is an actual causal relation between my small $2 gift and my good fortune in receiving perhaps $1000 worth of free benefits from my airline.

    However I think that perhaps my small gift changed my attitude and perceptions a little and enabled me to see and experience the flight delay not as an uncomfortable and dreary inconvenience but as good fortune and a great privilige and cause for joyfulness.

    • Jim, that is an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing it here with the world.

      The gift of being able to see the world from an enlightened perspective has a value so great that we cannot put a number on it. Living life with such a perspective — seeing that everything is a gift and being grateful for each and every moment no matter what we do or don’t have — guarantees that we will live a happy, peaceful, and content life.

  6. Hi Raav,

    What a great thought for you to do…and fun too! I wanted to leave the website of my charity of choice this December. Street culture is located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Kim Sutherland runs this organization to help homeless, drug addicted, gang-involved youth who have no where else to go. Kim is there for these kids even though everyone else has given up on them. He gives them job experience and helps them to turn their lives around. My family is giving to Street Culture this year. Check it out if you are interested.

    http://www.streetcultureproject.org/

    Their email address is streetculture@sasktel.net

  7. Your generosity and kindness continue to amaze me. I just wrote about ways we can all give back for the holidays and included a link to this post because I just love your idea of giving to so many different charities. Great work, Raam :)

  8. Hi Mr. Dev,
    I’d just like to thank you for your blog and the message it promulgates. Thank you for being one of the few that proactively inspire people, especially in renouncing consumerism as an ultimate way of life. Your gratitude and ideas were especially helpful to me as I’m writing a school essay on spirituality and consumerism, and this directly supported my idea (I cite all quotes btw :).