Give $1.25: How Giving Less Can Lead to Greater Change in a Newly Released Book Published by Word Assn. Publishers

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A young couple from Virginia describe their experiences as volunteers helping a tribal village in Transkei, South Africa. Alec and Amy Zacaroli are founders of 25.40, a registered charity ministry dedicated to serving poor children.

Make your donations do more.

Why is it that every year people donate money to programs designed to help the poorest and most vulnerable in the world, and yet the suffering persists and even grows? Is it just too little, too late? Or is it simply a matter of not giving enough? Neither, say Alec and Amy Zacaroli, authors of a new book that tackles this perplexing question. In fact, they suggest, it may be a matter of giving too much.

Give 1.25: How Giving Less Can Lead to Greater Change, is a reflection of the Zacarolis’ soul-searching look into lessons they learned from a decade of efforts to help poor, orphaned and vulnerable children in rural Africa through 25:40, a ministry they set up to help children in rural southern Africa.

The Zacarolis begin with a simple question: If the international poverty line is $1.25 per day as defined by the World Bank, can’t we lift a child out of poverty for a little more than that? Yes, we can, say the Zacarolis. And not only that, donors should take a closer look at projects that spend much more than that, as they may not be addressing the root causes of poverty.

“We have found that by limiting the amount we give, we put more emphasis on local resources, thereby ensuring communities take the lead role in saving their own,” Alec Zacaroli said. “If we insist on parachuting in and replacing communities and local resources with our own programs, no matter how costly and impressive, we are only setting ourselves up to fail. It is just not sustainable.”

Give125 begins with a personal account of lessons the Zacarolis learned in 10 years of working with South Africa’s poor. This is followed by an in-depth exploration of the state of our world and why so much suffering persists, notwithstanding the billions of dollars dedicated to diminishing it. In a simple, quick, and yet thorough analysis, Give125 looks at three important questions. Who gets what? Who gives what? And how can $1.25/day make a significant difference in the efforts to alleviate poverty? The book also explains how this simple metric gives donors a valuable tool for measuring the effectiveness of programs that seek to aid the poor.

“What the poor need is a chance to help themselves out of poverty,” Amy Zacaroli said. “Often, the tools needed are already there. They just need a small boost, such as a microloan, skills training, or tutoring. With just a small amount of help, for instance, an orphaned child can be taught how to grow food gardens, which can feed her and her siblings. This kind of assistance does not need millions of dollars. It needs a personal, informed and compassionate response.”

The Zacarolis founded 25:40 in 2003 with a simple mission of helping children in South Africa who have been orphaned by AIDS. In that time, the authors learned through experience, partnerships with local organizations and, most importantly, in-depth interaction with the communities they serve, both the triumphs and the pitfalls that come with trying to help the under-served. Their efforts to save some of the world’s most vulnerable children have led them to discover that most of the assets needed for helping a child are already in place in the child’s community. With some positive, loving support, education and a small amount of economic empowerment, all children not only can survive,
but thrive. 25:40 has worked with local organizations and communities to build and strengthen afterschool programs, preschools, and other projects designed to strengthen the most important caretakers in the lives of children – local communities.

For more information contact: Louis J. Haugh: (212) 933-0682 or (203) 667-4600 (cell).

Additional information also is available at A review copy of Give1.25 also is available upon request.

For more information on 25:40, please visit, or contact Alec and Amy Zacaroli at (703) 425-0275.

Give 1.25: How giving less can lead to greater change.
By Alec and Amy Porter Zacaroli
Published by Word Association Publishers, New York
ISBN: 978:1-59571-908-1
Library of Congress control number: 2013909164
Available at in paperback ($14.95) and Kindle (9.95)
Also available at:;; and through the iBooks App

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Louis Haugh

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