I like to give to charity, but when I do I need to know my money is going somewhere it will be well used. I usually give to smaller organisations where I actually know people who are involved in the work.
The next charity I donate to will be COAT (Chinese Orphans Assistance Team) and in particular their 'Eagle's Wings' project.
Their 'Eaglets' are Chinese children who have been abandoned for one reason or another. The team works to get them the medical assistance they need with the hope they can be adopted by mostly American families (unfortunately the adoption laws in Australia mean that they can't be brought here). The children who age-out of the adoption system continue to be cared for into their adult years.
I know a couple of people who fly out to visit the Eaglets to take resources from Australia, in-service the staff that are working at the homes and to complete small projects onsite (or to set up larger ones). These people spend their own money getting there and back so that all the donations can go toward supporting the orphans.
The donations are spent feeding, clothing and educating the orphans. It pays for their carers in their homes (creating employment for local people) and their medical needs. Donors can choose to donate to the organisation or to support a particular child. It is a reasonably small, but well-organised operation and I feel happy knowing that the donated dollars are really working to do GOOD.
They've been featured on a few television shows this year - Sunday Night, among others.
So... if I had a million dollars to donate, I would give it to them. They are forward thinking, compassionate people who are making a real difference to so many little lives. They are amazing.