For many donors, nothing tugs at the heartstrings -- and loosens the purse strings -- more than a picture of a child.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends that donors understand where their money is going before contributing to a children's charity. In too many cases, the lion's share of a charitable donation goes not to help the kids, but to pay the high cost of telephone and direct-mail fundraising.
Theresa Austin, food service manager, laughs when asked about some of the feedback she receives on the meals at Mother of Perpetual Help assisted living residence in Shrewsbury.
"They only remember your last meal," she said with a chuckle.
If one meal is not so popular -- she's toast, to use a food analogy.
"A lot of them will score it. I'll walk through the dining room and they give me thumbs up or thumbs down depending on what they like. They're pretty vocal about what they like or don't like," Austin said.
Lucille Selsor held up copies of Dr. Tom Dooley's books -- yellowed and frail from being stored for so many years.
Across the globe people were inspired by these books, Dooley's riveting talks and news and feature articles about the Catholic doctor from St. Louis who was known as "Dr. America" or "the Splendid American" in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, where he tended to refugees and the poor and founded hospitals and clinics.
Betty Tisdale did what any normal 89-year-old would do.
She started an effort to help save orphaned infants in Afghanistan. Tisdale helped establish a nursery within a larger orphanage, saving the babies who most likely would die without the help.
What else would you expect from the woman nicknamed "the Angel of Saigon"? She was given the name for her heroic efforts in saving 219 orphaned children in Vietnam when the war came to a close in 1975, as the government of South Vietnam was overrun and Americans left the country.
When the current OASIS volunteers with significant anniversaries are honored in May, they'll be representing a great many active older adults in the archdiocese who happily take time to help children in school.
The OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring Program, part of the OASIS national nonprofit organization for seniors, partners with school districts to match older adults with children who need help with language and reading skills.
It all started 28 years ago with a group from St. Gabriel Parish in south St. Louis who wanted to do their part to help women in crisis pregnancies.
"We just wanted to be there for the mothers, to help them through their journey. Their families sometimes abandon them ... and we're there to help them, comfort them, so they can keep their baby," said Joyce Knobbe.