When Stephen W. Miller founded Dillon Gage, he was already a successful entrepreneur. He often gave his resources to the less fortunate, because he defined success by how much good he could do for others instead of how much he could gain personally.
As his business travels took him around the world, Stephen saw firsthand how fortunate he was. However, when his travels took him to war-torn Guatemala, he was particularly haunted by the faces of civil war – children without clean drinking water or adequate medical attention, mothers trying to cook and warm their families around a single smoking fire, and most of all, one of the highest infant mortality rates on earth. Stephen could have simply given money and left it up to other aid organizations to use it as they saw fit. His hands-on experience in managing investments and securities allowed him to see opportunities others had not. While stocks and bonds may seem distantly removed from solving problems in Latin America, Stephen was confident he could apply his business skills to create a real, long term change for the better. After all, the most important “security” is food and shelter.
His answer was to found HELPS International, a US 501(c) (3) non-profit corporation that partners with individuals, businesses, corporations, and local and national governments to alleviate poverty in Latin America. HELPS integrated programs include: medical care, education, community and economic development, and agricultural innovations in order to improve the quality of life for the indigenous people of Latin America.
For example, the smoking cooking fires were a problem, and yet they were also culturally important. For centuries the indigenous population, the Mayan, have cooked their meals using open flame three-stone fires on the floors of their one-room homes. This traditional method of cooking is the cause of rampant medical and environmental problems throughout rural Guatemala. After an investigation of the cultural and technological factors surrounding three-stone fires, HELPS International developed the “ONIL” Stove: a durable apparatus that minimizes smoke and burns, and reduces wood use by 70%.
Another example of Helps International’s ingenious approach to solving Guatemala’s problems is the water filtration system they helped create. The HELPS Gravity Water Filter is a practical solution to the need for safe drinking water every day in rural communities and during emergency relief efforts. Safe drinking water is often very scarce or available at great expense. The gravity water filter uses two containers: the user simply pours the water into the top container where it then filters to the lower container through a ceramic purification element, providing up to 10 gallons of safe drinking water every twenty-four hours. The initial assembly is easy, and the setup time is about 15 minutes.
By putting his business skills to work for the Guatemalan people, Stephen created inexpensive, immediately useful solutions to Guatemala’s problems. Dillon Gage takes the same practical approach to providing extremely high levels of service to all its customers, whether they are coin dealers, precious metals buyers, or simply those who want to stay on top of gold prices for their own large portfolios.