I remember peering down a clu-de-sac filled with begging children, unwashed, hungry, disabled. I was 12 and on a family vacation to Mexico. But I just could not accept this view of life.

I'd grown up attending the Christian Science Sunday School, and in our home, my mom had always emphasized the power and presence of God as divine Love governing our lives. As a young girl on that street in Mexico, I felt it was only right that everyone should feel this presence of divine Love.

That scene has driven me ever since. I started volunteering—in soup kitchens, with welfare patients, crisis counseling in the United States. Since then, I've volunteered all over the world from microfinance in India to sustainable farming in Guatemala. From this, I realized a need to get money and volunteers to the best, most qualified organizations. So in 2002 I launched UniversalGiving (, which helps people give and volunteer with the top-performing projects and volunteer opportunities across the world. The website is a way for people to get involved that is both trusted and meaningful.

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