The project began in 1989, when I visited India for the first time. I began thinking about going there to help people in 1956 when I was 7 years old, under the influence of my father, Albert Gold (100friends.org/pdf/Benefit.Magazine.100.Friends.story.Sept.07.pdf). When I finally got to India, I met a Tibetan woman in the Himalayas who had terrible ear infections, and I was able save her life with antibiotics that cost about $1.00. For another $30 I purchased a hearing aid that restored her hearing. I was shocked to learn that something so important could be accomplished with so little. I also briefly met Mother Teresa while doing volunteer work with the dying in Kolkata, India and she encouraged me to continue this type of humanitarian work.
I began raising money among my friends, accepting whatever they could give, as little as $1 or as much as people were able to donate. Then, in 1992, I traveled to India with over $2,200 in donations, with the goal of distributing it as directly and intelligently as possible. The rest, as they say, is history. Funds have been donated in India, Thailand, Cambodia, Tibet, Nepal, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Indonesia, Palestinian Territories, Iraq, The Philippines, Myanmar, Pakistan, China, Angola, Laos, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Mozambique and Turkey.