Supporter Stories

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How sharing made me happier
I read The Life You Can Save a few years back which furthered my and my husband's desire to give. We realized that giving more did not mean compromising on the things we needed or enjoyed doing in our own lives. Instead, we were able to make a difference to the lives of others which we feel has, in turn, made us better people.  Charity and altruism can be very difficult concepts to explain. I believe that you either have an innate understan...
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Becoming an Effective Altruist on a Tight Budget
I have always wanted to make a difference. I think most people do. As a young teenager, I remember giving away all my Christmas money after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. I understood that I didn’t actually need that money, and there were other people who needed it desperately. As I grew older, I began to realise that this desperate need doesn’t go away just because the news cameras have moved on, or is only present in the wake of a di...
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How I gave away 3 percent—and more!—even on a limited income
It was in February 2014 that I first heard about Peter Singer's organization The Life You Can Save, and I have not looked back since.  At the time I was living at home with my family in South Wales, in a similar position to many recent university graduates: hunting for a job, lacking any money, and with no real direction. Despite the fragile state of my finances at the time The Life You Can Save really struck a chord with me. I took t...
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High-impact books
I began to think about effective altruism a few years ago when I read Poor Economics, a book by two MIT economists on “the surprising truth about life on less than one dollar a day”. I loved the book, which teems with insight about what drives the economic lives of the world’s poorest people, and contains a lot of surprising evidence about the best policies to improve their lives. (Why, for instance, do the poor borrow in order ...
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Transformative Learning Via Exposure To Poverty
Did you have a defining moment when extreme poverty slapped you in the face and woke you up? Perhaps an epiphany of sorts. When I was 16 I went to Nepal. Twenty years on and I realize what happened. It was a transformative learning experience. Founder of the concept in modern times, Jack Mezirow, says that such an experience usually requires a ‘disorientating dilemma’. Indeed. I saw extreme poverty and it rattled me. It transformed ...
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Venturing beyond our walls
    It was only a matter of time until Siddhārtha Gautama would leave the palace in which he was raised. No matter how luxurious the place you live in or how much others try to shelter you, people have a natural curiosity for knowledge of what lies on the other side. Siddhārtha saw human suffering. And so do we. So why, today, is it easier to not see human suffering than it was for a prince so long ago? Perhaps when we consider ...
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The couch was the best that I could do
I just turned 30 years old last month and it seemed like a good time to reflect on my life. My life is amazing, and it’s mostly because of luck. The primary reason is simply that I ended up living in one of the richest countries in the world – the U.S.A. This alone makes my quality of life enormously higher than that of the vast majority of people on the planet ; for example, the U.S. GDP per capita is around $55,000 per year, wh...
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The book that changed my life
If you had to read a book that might change your life, which you would then give to someone with the same purpose, and that could eventually change the whole world for the better, what book would it be?
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Finding New Meaning
A couple years ago, I read The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer. Singer argues that people should donate their money to effective charities up to the point where any additional giving would harm them more than it would help others. Singer’s book has inspired me to become an effective altruist, which means that I try to do as much good as I can with my time and money. Before I read the book, a primary goal of mine was to maximize my time...
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The Singer Effect
In December 2006, a provocative headline on the New York Times website caught my eye: "What Should a Billionaire Give-and What Should You?" The article was by Professor Peter Singer, and it made me start thinking critically about my own giving. I had been giving to charities for most of my life, usually token amounts and without much thought. I gave to organizations that worked on issues I cared about, but I did so more out of a sense of dut...
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