Charity Awards has honored humanitarian service since 1979. Initially, CAI was organized as a response to the Cambodian famine of the late 1970s. When entertainer Pat Boone and presidential historian Doug Wead met one evening for dinner at the home of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, it quickly became apparent they shared a common passion – fighting world hunger head-on.
The dire situation in Southeast Asia demanded action, so Boone, Wead, and later, Dan O’Neill, founded CAI and the Charity Awards as a way to honor philanthropic work and to raise money to fight famine. Out of that first event Mercy Corps was born, which has donated $2 billion of food and medicine around the world.
Meanwhile, First Lady Rosalynn Carter focused the attention of the world on the crisis in Southeast Asia. She made a high profile trip to the refugee camps in Thailand. In 1980, Rosalynn Carter hosted the first Charity Awards in the East Room of the White House and so the event was born in a bipartisan spirit.
That first event raised $300,000 to fight the Cambodian famine. It was a modest beginning. Since then, hundreds of celebrities, presidents, and other leaders have helped the work of the Charity Awards, bringing greater awareness to issues of need and raising more support for worthy charities year after year.
Honoring Jimmy Carter: When Character was King!
CAI solicits no public funds for its own operation.
Here is an honor roll of worthy charities that our members have recognized and supported over the years. Please consider a donation to one of these outstanding organizations.
National Charity Award Recipients
Adventist Alumni Awards
American Red Cross
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
Canyonville Christian Academy
Columbia Union College
Convoy of Hope
Edward C. Mazique Center
Episcopal Relief Fund
Feed My People
Grace Bible Church
Habitat for Humanity
Helen Dunbar Scholarship Fund
Life Coach Foundation
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
Missionaries of Charity
Our Lady of the Mountains Building Fund
Olive Crest Center for Abused Children
Romanian Children’s Fund
Seventh Day Adventist Church
St. Jude’s Research Hospital
Summer Soul Harvest
The Salvation Army
Union Springs Academy
United Jewish Charities
Up With People