Saw this story on CNN:
The Salwen family is no stranger to service. Kevin is on the board of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity; Joan works as a teacher; 15-year-old Hannah volunteers at the Atlanta Community Food Bank and has been working at Cafe 458, a restaurant that serves homeless people, since she was in the 5th grade; and 13-year-old Joseph has worked at the Food Bank since he was 8.
Still, they felt like there was more to do, so they started “Hannah’s Lunchbox“. The idea started wtih a brainstorm of what things they could do without, how could they make a difference. And they settled on their 6,500 square-foot house – complete with 5 bedrooms, 8 fireplaces and even an elevator. They decided to sell the house, move into one half its size and give half of the proceeds – roughly $800,000 – away to charity.
Ultimately, the Salwens chose The Hunger Project to receive the money from their house. Over a 6-year period, it will end up in Ghana, helping 30 villages grow food and build clinics and schools.
Their house is the American dream, but the Salwens are hoping to redefine what that means. How much do we really need? And how committed are we to paying more than lip-service to makinga difference? “We as Americans have so much,” said Kevin, a former Wall Street Journal writer. “We love the concept of half. We are going from a house that’s 6,000 square feet to a house that’s half the size, and we’re giving away half the money.”
The Salwen family is a great example and unequivocally answer the question of “What are you willing to give up to make a difference?”