Wharton EMBA Student Establishes Charitable Foundation

A second year Executive MBA student’s vision has been realized by combining his Wharton education, military experience, and an unending reserve of energy and dedication.

Give to the World a non-profit organization, comes from the inspiration of a Wharton student and military officer who observed the dire conditions of the local population in Afghanistan during his deployment there. Thomas saw that the locals, especially in more rural areas, lacked even the most basic necessities, and realized that the Afghanis’ situation was made worse by ongoing hostilities, which keep traditional aid organizations away.

Since the beginning of his service overseas in 2003, Thomas, like other military personnel, regularly received care packages from home during deployments. He believed that these same friends and family would also want to help the locals if they were made aware of their vital needs. 

Thomas began distributing clothing, blankets, and school supplies from the United States to the Afghani people four years ago and has established the non-profit, Give to the World, to continue formally providing such urgently needed items to high-risk areas via military and NATO forces in various regions. Since its founding, the organization has expanded service to the people of Iraq and other war-torn or impoverished regions.

Give to the World benefits from the many skills that Thomas has learned from his educational experience at Wharton, including negotiating massive amounts of donations from local thrift shops, establishing a Board of Directors, and creating optimal collection and distribution strategies. One specific example of Wharton’s influence is the non-profit’s use of the just-in-time inventory model taught extensively at the school and used by major corporations. This model has enabled the organization to eliminate the need for storage facilities for their distribution of aid overseas. Consequently, more than 95% of Give to the World‘s current costs are dedicated to shipping, allowing donors to realize the most direct impact from their monetary donations.