Why is ‘AIM For SEVA’ my favourite charity?

Mike Lakhani, vice-president of a major financial management firm is the sponsor of an ‘all-girls hostel’, at Khategoan, a small village near Indore, a city …

Mike Lakhani, vice-president of a major financial management firm is the sponsor of an ‘all-girls hostel’, at Khategoan, a small village near Indore, a city in the Indian province of Madhya Pradesh. To build a hostel costs around $63,000, quite a substantial amount. Smart donors do not drop this amount into canisters at the checkout counter. Neither do they give reactively in a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to gut-wrenching visuals of some tear-jerking advertisement. Instead, they take the time to identify which causes are important to them and their families; they do their due-diligence in studying, researching and analyzing the charity’s past performance; they ensure that their dollar is indeed making a difference!

We asked Mr. Lakhani what he saw in AIM that prompted him to make it the focus of his philanthropy.

“Feed the children for a lifetime”

In his own words: “We strongly believe in the cause that AIM supports and that is the foremost reason why we, as a family, thought AIM was the best choice for donating our charity dollars. ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime’, goes the old adage, and what would be a better way to feed a child for a lifetime than education? We are deeply convinced that if you really want to make a difference, education is the way to go. You can’t go wrong with it.”

“Dollars can do wonders in a place like India. Its value is several times more than the Indian rupee, and goes that much further in serving the strong cause.”

Credibility counts the most

“Researching on the credibility of the organization, not just in Canada, but in India too, was very important before we took the plunge in the river of good karma,” said Mr. Lakhani.

“I did some research and the feedback I received was very positive. For instance, I had asked a friend in Mumbai where did his charity dollars go? And he said, ‘AIM for Seva,’ without batting his eyelid. The organisation’s credibility spoke for itself and I was sold on the idea of dedicating my time and money to AIM. If those in India – who are a lot closer to where AIM operates and perhaps far more sceptical – have a blind trust in the organization, then we have little room to doubt its credibility.”

“Furthermore, people who are at the helm of AIM are men of principles and their integrity is beyond doubt.”

Put a smile on a child’s face; don’t pay for someone’s vacation!

Mr. Lakhani said he once audited the books for another charity and was shocked to find only 40 per cent of the donations went to the intended cause.

“Donating is often an emotional decision, and we have to be careful while making it,” he said. “You really want the money to go to the right people for the right reasons.”

What makes AIM a unique charity, in a way, is the fact 100 per cent of your donation goes to the intended cause. Their administrative costs are minimal and borne by volunteers for the most part.

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