The Start of IHM - Don Magnotta

I was inspired to start IHM one day when I heard a homily by Fr. Cletus Forson at St. Margaret Church.The homily was about a woman he knew who was suffering greatly because of her lack of daily food; about the children that could not get an education because their parents could not afford to send them to school; about the suffering people endured due to the lack of clean water, causing so much illness and even death.Understanding that there are no social programs in Ghana as we have here, I felt it was my calling to do something about the poor and their daily suffering in some way. I realized the best way to reach out was through the people that live among them, understand them and have a great calling and desire to help them and give them hope.I believe we are all born with the desire to help our brothers and sisters in this world no matter where they live. God has given us this beautiful gift of sharing and love for our neighbor. It is up to each one of us individually to seek that justice for the poor and hopeless, so that they may be lifted up to a new beginning, with hope for a life and future such as we have been blessed with here in this country.I am very grateful to all of the donors of IHM, for together we are changing the lives of thousands of men, women and children each year with our clean water, education and health initiatives for a happier and healthier future.Giving has changed my life and brought not only joy to others but great joy to me. It has been a wonderful journey, and I hope that many will join us. We can do so much with so little for so many, together.

100% of your donations go directly to help those in need. We are all volunteers wanting to make a difference!


How Dolores got involved with IHM

I am the Director of Religious Education at St. Margaret Church, Middle Village, NY. In the summer of 2011, Don Magnotta approached me and asked if I was planning to do any fundraisers with the Religious Education Program. He had a proposal to have us sponsor the digging of a clean water well for a village in Ghana. 

The idea interested me and I set up a meeting with the Pastor, Monsignor Steven Aguggia, the school principal, Dr. Phil Franco, Don and myself.Hearing Don talk about the village, Atikpui, broke my heart. The 4,000 inhabitants got their drinking water from a filthy river near the edge of the village. Women and children would walk up to 2 miles each way to fetch the water, which was full of communicable diseases, dirt, animal droppings and chemicals. And, depending on the size of a family, up to 5 trips or more a day were necessary.Water is HEAVY. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. Imagine carrying a 5-gallon (40-pound) can or huge bowl on your head! 

That’s what these women and children did multiple times a day, every day. Boiling or straining the water helped a little, but there are many diseases that are not affected by these measures. We also learned that wells are relatively inexpensive, by our standards. We all agreed that this program would be a great fit for our Religious Education and school children to become involved in. Don told us that every penny donated would go directly to the well and that we would be kept apprised of every step in the process. Then he dropped the bombshell that he would send me to GHANA to see for myself! (A trip paid for with other funding, not with the money we would raise). The opportunity was tremendous, and after discussing it with my family, I agreed. And so the H2O Project began. 

The children gave up all beverages besides water for two weeks, and donated what they saved to help people around the world. We raised $6,000 for the well in Atikpui, which was completed in early 2012. I went to Ghana in February, 2012, to attend the dedication of the well and visit other areas in need. Now I'm hooked! I have since helped bring the program to other schools and aided in raising thousands of dollars to help over 20,000 people! 

I journeyed to Ghana again in August of 2013 to visit Avega Ando, where we dug a well with a hand-operated pump, Nyagbo, a village on top of a mountain that has no reliable water source, and to return to Atikpui, where the standard of living is much improved, school attendance is up and people are traveling to the village from other areas to fetch clean water and trade with the residents. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people with no access to clean water, so our work has just begun.


Our Charter

Established in 2008, the International Help of Missionaries Foundation assists missionaries in developing countries who are experiencing difficulties due to lack of adequate resources.We raise funds, through special events and private donors, to assist in building educational facilities and augment educational materials as well as providing medical services and transportation.

We are committed to increasing the availability of necessities, such as water, food and housing.Our initial focus is in Ghana, West Africa, where some of our Directors are currently performing their life’s missions. They are from the areas they serve and bring dedication and love to their communities. They are currently working to maintain and grow educational, health and poverty assistance programs to the schools and communities they serve.

On April 15, 2009, the Ohio Chapter joined forces with IHM in New York to help with the activities already started and with new activities envisioned. Several of the volunteers of the Ohio Chapter have visited Ghana and have seen firsthand the nearly subhuman levels of poverty. They've also seen an eagerness in the people to improve their lives by educating the children and themselves, to attain a better standard of living and to see themselves as valuable assets to the community and the world.



International Help of Missionaries


64-07 77th Place
Middle Village, New York 11379

call us at 1-917-273-1723

IHM is a registered 501c/3 charity. All donations are 100% tax deductible.
100% of donations are used for charitable purposes.

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IHM International Help of Missionaries  Giving from hearts to hands