Thousand Oaks Charity "The Greater Contribution" Raises Funds to Fight Poverty Around the World

The Greater Contribution (TGC) is a Thousand Oaks based non-profit organization founded in 2006 by four women seeking to make a "greater contribution" to the world. It is an all-volunteer group that works to raise funds to fight poverty and raise awareness of the issues relating to poor people worldwide.

TGC provides "micro loans" ($50 to $300) to the world's poorest women and their families to enable them to create or expand a small business.  In many of the poorest countries of the world, these businesses are the only way families can work their way out of poverty.  Loans are repaid every 90-120 days and the money is loaned out over and over again, thus multiplying the number of people who can begin the journey out of poverty.

I spoke with Karon Wright, President, Executive Director and Co-Founder of TGC:

Micro loan borrower displays her new chicken coop!Who does TGC help? Those in the most impoverished nations of the world -- those struggling to live on less than the equivalent of $2/day. Our mission is to be a leader in the worldwide movement to eliminate extreme poverty by 2015.

How do you channel money to those in need and how does the money get repaid?  The money is transmitted to a monitored bank account in East Africa.  The loans are repaid every six months to the same account through our program director.

How else does TGC help these people?  TGC and our local partner on the ground in Uganda, Women’s Microfinance Initiative, will send a group of student interns there this month,  taking laptop computers and installing an internet café.   We are making grant applications to obtain funding for a nurse to be available in this remote village several days a week to provide badly needed health care. TGC will soon be selling aprons, handbags and jewelry made by the women of Buyobo. The women borrowers have been able to save money for a foundation for a new school.  The economy of the entire region has improved.

Another borrower with her pots.How many people do you help and where?  We focus on the countries in greatest need – those in East Africa.  Since inception, TGC has funded over 7,500 micro loans, benefiting over 39,000 people!

Why do you choose women entrepreneurs? We grant loans to women entrepreneurs because women are the hardest hit by poverty -- 70% of those living in dire poverty are women and because once a woman gets a micro loan and establishes a small business, her husband and children typically get involved.  So, we are really loaning to the whole family.

How can people help?  People can visit to donate and to find other ways that they can help.

The Greater Contribution is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.