In 1975 Geshe Michael began a lifetime of service for Tibetan refugees, collecting contributions and clothing in the Princeton area and shipping them to the refugee camps. In 1978 he assisted his teacher Khen Rinpoche in founding a formal charity to help refugee monks. Due in part to the help of income generated by the Andin Diamond Corporation, this expanded into the Sera Mey Food Fund, which for years has provided food and clothing for thousands of monks.

Over the past 25 years, in cooperation with western charities such as the United Church Board for World Ministries, the Fund has contributed numerous buildings and dormitories, an elementary school, textbooks, optometrist services, teacher salaries and student scholarships, a major water system, vocational and agricultural training, an infirmary, a fully equipped computer center, a complete library, a solar-run kitchen facility, and cottage industries to the refugee monks of Sera Mey Tibetan Monastery.