We need more people doing good things

We Americans are big on talking about giving the less fortunate a hand up rather than a handout.

By that, of course, we mean not merely helping them make ends meet but also giving them the tools they need to become self-sufficient.

Recently a man who made the hand-up philosophy work passed away.

He was Millard Fuller, 74, a self-made millionaire in Georgia.

By dint of hard work and ingenuity, Fuller, the son of Alabama farmers, became a millionaire by age 29.

He began putting money and effort into worthy causes, some in the United States and others abroad.

In 1976, Fuller and his wife, Linda, founded Habitat for Humanity.

You’ve heard of the organization. It helps those with limited incomes build their own homes. Habitat provides some money and some volunteer labor.

Habitat homeowners are required to invest their own “sweat equity” and to make reasonable payments on their new residences.

Habitat emphatically is not a handout, as those who have benefited from the program in our area can testify. It merely helps those with the drive to help themselves.

Under the Fullers’ leadership, Habitat built more than 175,000 homes in 100 countries. Just think of how many people were helped.

And the work continues, every day, all over the world.

People like Fuller seem to be increasingly rare.

It would be nice if part of his legacy was inspiring others to do the same kind of good.

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