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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I be sure that Help the Helpless is a legitimate non-profit?

We are a 501(c)(3) in good standing and approved to operate by the IRS of the United States. We have been in existence since 1998 and are registered with the charities division of the state of Minnesota. We conduct an annual audit of our finances, which is sent to the Attorney General of Minnesota. We file a 990 IRS report that shows all donations received, the expenses of Help the Helpless, and the amount of money sent to St. Mary’s and the missions in Ecuador. This report is available to the public upon request.

Who is Help the Helpless?

We are a 100% volunteer-staffed non-profit formed in 1998 to help St. Mary’s School and Orphanage in southern India care for handicapped, deaf, abandoned and poor children. In 2015 we started supported three different missions in Ecuador.

If I donate to Help the Helpless, St. Mary’s or the Ecuador Missions, where does my money go?

Operating expenses of Help the Helpless are normally below 5% of donations received, so 95% or more of what you give goes directly to St. Mary’s School and Orphanage in India and the missions in Ecuador.

If I donate to Help the Helpless, will my name be sold or shared with any other organization?

No. We hold our benefactors’ names in strictest confidence and do not share or sell their information to any other organization. Nor will you ever receive a direct appeal for money from us.

I want to sponsor a child; what are my options for paying support?

You may pay for your child’s support as best fits your personal situation, whether that’s annually, semi-annually, quarterly or monthly. We also can set up automatic monthly credit card debits or bank account debits. You may set this up on our website or contact us toll-free at 877.762.8857 and we will set everything up.

Where do I send my donation?

Donations can be made online via this website or you may send a donation to our mailing address:

Help the Helpless: P.O. Box 270308, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127

If I forget to make a monthly support payment, will you remind me?

Yes, if you share your email address with us, we can send you email notifications prior to when your donation is due.

Can I send money or gifts to my sponsored child or family?

Yes, but please do not send money or gifts of value directly to Ecuador or India, as they will be stolen in the postal system. If you wish to provide your sponsored child or family with a gift, we ask that you make a donation and note how you would like your donation to be spent.  We will then ensure that the gift is purchased for your child or family.  Please note that for the children in India, donations made for gifts go into a fund to ensure that all children at the orphanage receive gifts of similar value for holidays and their birthdays.   

Will Help the Helpless forward cards and letters to my adopted child/family for me?

Yes. We send items via large envelopes to India and Ecuador every 2 weeks. Please forward to: Help the Helpless, P.O. Box 270308, Vadnais Heights, MN 55127 along with a note requesting us to forward the card, letter or small item.  Additionally, you can create an account on our website and if you hover over your profile icon, you can click on the option to send a letter to your child.

Can I adopt a child through Help the Helpless?

No. Our mission is to care for the needy children and help them become self-sufficient young adults. Adoption would take us into new areas that we have little knowledge of regarding working with various Indian and U.S. government agencies.

I noticed that you also have some colleges in India. Why is that?

A teacher’s training institute and colleges of education were started for the continued education of those students at St. Mary’s schools who showed ability in those fields. Many of the handicapped and poor are excellent and dedicated students. Father Antony started the colleges when state-operated institutions did not want to admit students from St. Mary’s. Due to the success of the colleges, they are now open to non-St. Mary’s students for a tuition fee. This is a win-win situation. As handicapped and poor students get to study with normal students, they gain greater confidence. In addition, Father Antony has established a source of revenue to offset some of the operating costs of St. Mary’s.

What are Gregorian Masses?

Gregorian Masses are for the deceased and are 30 Masses celebrated in 30 consecutive days. Gregorian Masses originated with Pope St. Gregory the Great, where he related in his “Dialogues” that when he had finished a series of 30 Masses for a departed monk, he received a visitation from this monk, who told him he had been released from Purgatory and entered into Heaven. Mass stipend is $300 and is often celebrated by the retired Bishop.

What is included in the Monthly Food Basket distributed to my Sponsored Family?

Regular Monthly Food Basket (Cost: $36.13)

Rice (22lbs)

Coffee (3.5 oz)

Salt (1 pack)

Pasta (2 boxes)

10 Eggs

Oats (2 packs)

Corn (1lb)


Butter or Oil (2 packs)

Flour (2lbs)

Sugar (11lbs)

1 Chicken


Lentils (2 packs)

2 Hand Soap

Sardines (2 cans)

Beans (2 packs)

2 Laundry soap



Plastic Bag


Are Monthly Food Baskets individualized for each family?

Normally all baskets contain the same items, however, the Sisters get to know each family and their unique needs. When they see that a family needs more food or more supplements they accommodate it when they can.  Regularly they see cases where the children have problem of malnourishment, so more supplements are added, including extra vegetables, fruit, and milk.

Are medicines included in Food Baskets?

Medicines are not directly included. They are given at the request of the families when the Sisters can meet the need.

Does a Food Basket feed a family for the entire month?

The food baskets only provide for half a month of food for most families. The other half of the month, the family is encouraged to work and provide for themselves. In cases where the sponsored family is an elderly couple and they can no longer work, the Sisters attempt to provide enough food to last the entire month.  Every time the Sisters can add more items for the families, they do.

Do families receive extra baskets during the Holidays?

Normally at Christmas the families are given two food baskets - one at the beginning of the month, the other at the end. These baskets contains the normal monthly items, plus extra things to have a special meal for Christmas.  Examples of these items include: sandwich bread, mustard, tomato sauce, candies, cookies, sodas, and juices. These extra baskets cost around $22.00.