Joseph Anderson was making plans to study yoga in India when his father died suddenly in an accident. In his grief, he considered canceling the trip. But his mother encouraged him to go.

In India, Joseph found consolation among the poorest of the poor, grieving his father as he walked among Calcutta’s street urchins. Children by the thousands were competing with dogs and pigs for scraps of food, and he marveled at their strength in the face of adversity.

As he traveled, Joseph chronicled his experiences and posted them on the Internet for his mother to read a half-world away. They were discovered by a publisher who helped him produce The Light Within: A Travel Log of India, now available at bookstores and online at

Joseph used proceeds from the book to found the Calcutta Children’s Permanent Fund as a tribute to his father. With the principal protected and managed by the Community Foundation, the fund will exist in perpetuity, with annual gains used to provide street children with food and medical care.

“The power of this fund lies in currency trading,” Joseph explained. “One American dollar equals about $5 in India. That’s a 500 percent return on the investment. A little money does so much good. Where can someone donate $100 and know that it could save the lives of literally dozens of children?”