In 1996, whilst leading a photographic safari in southern Africa, Paul Templer was attacked by an enraged hippopotamus. As a result, his left arm ended up being amputated and his life was ripped apart. In 1997 Paul Templer met with Dave Williams, a successful businessman and philanthropist in Michigan, USA; Dave had the vision, drive, wherewithal and competence to establish Make-A-Difference as a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Dave and Paul started Make-A-Difference, primarily to service the needs of amputees (mostly children who were land mine victims) in southern Africa.
Dave and Paul’s collaboration led to an international fund-raising event called the ZZAM expedition. This publicity campaign was chronicled globally by various news agencies (print, radio and television) and became the launching pad for all future Make-A-Difference endeavors.
In 2005, Paul’s four-month-old daughter Erin had surgery at Children’s Hospital of Michigan to remove a brain tumor. The surgery didn’t accomplish everything they’d hoped it would. Being exposed to this population (terminally and chronically ill children and their families), particularly those living below the poverty line, inspired our current focus – including our efforts relating to people living with PTSD.
By 2008, Make-A-Difference had established itself and was regularly providing financial, material and pragmatic support to various programs around the world, most notably:
- Supporting terminally ill children in Detroit, Michigan U.S.A.
- Supporting disabled and terminally ill children in southern Africa
In order to address the concerns of a rapidly changing world, in 2008 Make-A-Difference was re-chartered and renamed the Templer Foundation and began an evolution to respond to ever increasing and demanding need. To do this, a new board agreed to assume responsibility for ensuring that the spirit of Make-A-Difference would continue and that the Templer Foundation would be able to respond to those in need; filling in the gaps as we find them so that people can live with dignity.
To date our organization has relied exclusively upon volunteerism and has been funded by self-generated capital projects, private donations, corporate sponsorships and special events
We are currently focused on finding and securing funding for the following opportunities: