People ask questions all the time when we talk about the program. We get it…it’s a different kind of concept. Here’s a few of the usual suspects, and if you still have questions, feel free to contact us!

Who are the crazy people behind The Wandering Samaritan?

At the core, we’re a group of people that wants to see extraordinary good be an every day occurrence. We are a core team that believes in the mission, and The Army of Good is steadily growing around the world. Here’s a bit more from the founder as well.

What are you doing at The Wandering Samaritan?

In short, we are giving travelers access to adequate funds to help individuals, small groups, and organizations in need around the world. The money we raise goes into our donor-sponsored Miracle Bank which then gets allocated to approved travelers to address micro, solvable situations on the spot (or within a few days) as they encounter them.  We focus on those that have fallen through the cracks of government and larger aid.

Sounds interesting, but what kinds of things will you be doing exactly?

We think of it as building a platform to enable you to help others within a set of criteria, rather than a singular mission. While the options and opportunities are limitless (inspired by travelers and the people they meet), the following are examples of projects we have funded in the past and ideas for projects we might fund in the future. Be sure to follow our IN ACTION blog, here.


  • Provided a solar panel and battery back up system to a family in rural Nepal, who had sickly elders in the house, young children who needed to study, and where on electrical load sharing and were without power 12 hours per day. READ NOW
  • Contributed to the re-construction of damaged structures at an orphanage and donated to their ongoing education fund. READ NOW
  • Took 30 children and 15 parents in Uganda on an all day excursion to Murchison National Park, so that they could experience the wonder and beauty of their own country, many of whom had never been 5 km outside of their village. READ NOW
  • Purchased books for a young teenager in El Salvador, who wanted to study english but could not afford the materials. READ NOW
  • Provided new wheelchairs in Colombia for several wheelchair-stricken folks who were using badly damaged chairs. READ NOW
  • Purchased a basketball hoop for a local NGO in Ghana, that had more than 60 kids sharing only one court.
  • Spreading joy and optimism by organizing a carnival at a children’s home in India READ NOW
  • Paying for emergency medical procedures
  • Finding an above knee amputee and pairing him with a partner organization that provides low cost solutions but struggles to find the candidates in hard to reach places, and paying for their transport to the closest center to get proper fittings
  • And just about any International, undeniably good, imminently solvable Miracle our Wandering Samaritans encounter or can dream up!

How can I become a Wandering Samaritan?

The first step is to click on the APPLY tab in the main navigation of the site and complete the online application form. We review every single application, so please answer thoughtfully, and you will definitely hear back from us. Upon selection, we will contact you to set a phone call/Skype session, during which we can get to know each other, ask questions, and find out some more information, including details about your planned trip and your approach to local travel. Finally, we’ll conduct a brief background check and call references to make sure everything checks out. We’re not going to just hand you a suitcase of money after all!! Once all of this is complete, we will contact you to confirm your acceptance as a Wandering Samaritan and to provide you with all the final paperwork. Then you’ll join our team of “on deck” travelers and the fun begins.

Ok, so I’m an approved Wandering Samaritan. What next?

You will be assigned a liaison who will work with you to make sure you have everything you need from us before you head out on your trip and to answer any questions you may have. They’ll go over the Miracle guidelines, financial procedures, give you information about our partner organizations, and help you prepare to get out there and do some good old fashioned ridiculous good! Your liaison will be your primary point of contact with the organization, and will help you navigate any special needs or requests from the field as well. Here’s how the process looks overall.

I prefer working with animals. Is that allowed?

Yes, absolutely! Same criteria apply but animal projects are 100% alowable. We’re all earthlings after all.

I am interested in donating, but want to better understand how you will account for the financials?

We are committed to complete transparency in how we use your donations. We will share every single Miracle (story) from the field here on the website so you can literally follow along with how we are spending the donations. We will conduct a thorough interview and application process before anyone joins our program (see above) and will maintain significant personal information on all of our Wandering Samaritans.


Financial controls will be in place to monitor all spends from The Miracle Bank.  It’s a tiered approval process, ranging from reimbursements for smaller spends to direct spends with management approval and finally board approval for our largest Miracles.  Every single spend will require photo/video documentation, a story of what happened, and the filing of a “Miracle Form” which will list all the pertinents about the transaction, the recipient and all available contact information, the Samaritan in charge, the GPS coordinates, etc.  We will conduct spot checks from time to time, but we’re not running a police state either!


In terms of overhead vs. program spend, we are committed to a lean infrastructure, transparent disclosures, and maintaining a better than industry average ratio.  That said, we are likewise committed to treating our staff and contractors fairly so they can focus 110% on helping others in need.  As this is a startup from scratch, we will have some setup infrastructure expense in the beginning that will lessen over time as is a reality of all businesses.  If you have any questions before, during, or after your donation, don’t hesitate to contact us at donations@thewanderingsamaritan.org and we will be in touch promptly to address your concerns.  We want you to be thrilled about your donation!

I run a school/clinic/organization in a developing area. How can I partner with TWS to receive funds?

Although our main purpose is to allow the travelers to choose how to spend the funds allocated to them, in some cases we may be in a position to recommend how or where they spend allocated funds. If you work for/run a school, clinic, organization, or belong to an underserved community that you think would benefit greatly from donations, please email helprequest@thewanderingsamaritan.org  We are looking at ways to build this feature into our website in the future, but for now send us a bit about your situation in an email, and we will see if it lines up with one of our travelers.

I am a blogger/journalist/freelancer and would like to write a story about TWS. Who do I need to contact?

That would be fantastic, we’ll take all the great press we can get! Email us at press@thewanderingsamaritan.org, and we will set up a time to chat!

So is my donation tax deductible or not?

We officially received our designation from the IRS as a registered 501(c)3 in May of 2015, so yes, your donations are 100% tax deductible as allowed by law. In addition anyone who has donated in the past, from the beginning (our date of birth is January 24, 2014 in the State of New York), can now officially deduct those donations as well as the designation is retroactive up to 27 months, which we are well within.


If you have any other questions relating to our legal status, please write to us. We’ll be happy to chat.

I’ve still have questions, who can I talk to?

No worries, we recognize this is a new model and will take some time to fully understand.  Email us at info@thewanderingsamaritan.org or use the contact form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can. We’re a small team, so bear with us, but we’ll definitely get back to you!