My wise and beloved father once said to me, “Don’t ever invade the principal. Before you know it you could be reckless and lose everything!” I heard him, but long after he died I broke through that barrier and it scared the "h-" out of me.
What initially sparked my giving was going to Haiti to City Soleil with a group from the Ministry of Money (renamed the Faith and Money Network). One day we worked in a clinic cleaning wounds on the soles of people’s feet. They had walked shoeless a long way from the country to come to the clinic. The next day we worked in a women’s ward. The women were so sick, yet they appreciated every little thing we did for them: cutting their toenails, massaging their backs. When I touched them I felt something right in my heart, a reciprocal joining that set my spirit free. On day three we worked in the orphanage where we were to feed and cuddle young children. I noticed a little boy who looked so grotesque, and I prayed I wouldn’t get him. Guess what?! When I held that little boy in my arms and put a spoon to his mouth a miracle happened: he became whole. Experiencing their poverty and humanity first hand rather than just hearing about it moved most of us on the trip to substantially increase our giving.
Having seen the poverty in Haiti opened my eyes to the poverty in my home town, Washington D.C. Then the Faith and Money Network’s founder told me of about his dream of creating the Christ House, a medical care facility for the homeless, a place of healing for both the body and spirit. His dream became my dream. I prayed and I prayed about the amount. I gave and I gave big: $4 million. It went toward the purchase and renovation of the building that became Christ House.
From the early 1980’s until a couple of years ago, I have been giving away all of my investment income and even invading 40% of my principal....and feeling good about it.
Recently, however, some of my immediate family have expressed both hurt and anger that my giving so much has meant less for them. They have gradually made peace with it. Everyone in my family has plenty. Given that so many of God's children clearly do not, it has been a blessing to have shared my wealth.
| 60 plus Years Old | $10-$25M | at least 50% | Inheritance |
| Health | International | Social Justice | Fairness | Faith |
Posted on April 13th by Serena Aubrey
Isn't it funny how just hearing about such generosity of spirit inspires others to give? I have been sharing a lot of giving stories and videos with the on-line communities I am part of and the response is, "WOW, I feel I want to do something like this!"
So I will keep sharing and sharing and doing what I can do in my own way -- Joan's story goes out over my network path tonight!