Many of you will have seen the ABC show, ‘Secret Millionaire’. I watched the episode with James Malinchak with great interest, partly thanks to the pre-show hype and partly because I find the concept of the show worthy of comment.
I love to see people helping people, and James’ visit to Gary, Indiana was just that. His mission was to find people who were selflessly helping those in need, and he posed simply as a volunteer, who was involved in a documentary on people lending a hand up, not a hand out.
James’ visits to a center and sports facility to engage youth in meaningful learning and physical exercise showed a woman and her son who were serving with passion and heart, yet little to no pay.
Similarly, James’ visit to the Baylor basketball team, highlighted a spirited group of young women, coached and mentored by a wonderfully engaged and positive man, who simply couldn’t “quit” or “retire” since when he considered that in years past, he heard a girl had cried at that news. This coach rededicated himself to the coaching position, and is there to this day, with nary a thought of retiring, since he so vividly knows the need for these young women to be able to develop their basketball skills, yet more importantly their life skills. He spoke with James about the fact that you can always lose a game, yet his life mission is to keep these girls from losing their very lives.
The volunteer agencies James visited and later gifted funds to, were so appreciative of his volunteer labor and then his funds, that my suspicion is the James will make these initial gifts annual gifts, if not donate far more as he stays in touch with these new “lifelong friends” as he calls them. The gift recipients’ responses of “no one has EVER believed in me this much” and “you don’t know what this (gift) means to us” rip at my very heart strings, knowing that money indeed buys folks choices and options. So now, these charities will have more choices in the near term, and that is surely life giving.
God Bless all the people who are working tirelessly to help our youth, and to also improve their communities, and may James initial contributions be a witness to us all to do our part in paying it forward, giving as we can give of our time and money.