Friday, December 12, 2008

If I were a rich man. Ya ha deedle deedle, bubba bubba deedle deedle dum.

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you were rich? Whenever my mind has wandered that far from reality, I haven't been able to come up with much beyond paying off outstanding debt for me and my family. Anything more than that--I don't know.

What I hope, though, is that I would be as responsible with my wealth as Harold Alfond. Mr. Alfond may not be well known outside of Maine but within Maine his generosity is evident everywhere. Anytime there was an opportunity to help young people--from Colleges to Boys and Girls Clubs to millions given to Good Will Hinkley--the man who made his money selling shoes provided that opportunity.

He died last year and a bequest of his will was a gift of a $500 college fund to each child born in the State of Maine after January 1, 2009. The parents will be able to add to the fund as the child grows and beginning in 2027, when that first group graduates from high school, high school graduates born in Maine will have an opportunity to head to college thanks to Harold Alfond.

11 comments:

KGMom said...

Yes, I too have wondered what I would do--mostly things like set up trust funds for our two children, give a whole bunch to our dearly love church, and redo my kitchen. That's it--maybe given today's economy, restructure the national debt! (HA!)
What a wonderful legacy Mr. Alfond has left.

Sharon said...

Three thoughts, Beth...the first is our local paper's story today about a most generous gift to our local Food Bank. Here is a link:
http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/12/12/news/local/21-foodbank.txt

My second thought has to do with the recent, new TV show called 'Secret Millionaire.' To a person, the millionaire or multi-millionaire expresses shock to find suffering people in our world - this amazes me far more than the generous gifts they give to people via this show. I guess their quest for success is so focused that they are unaware of the world and people around them - in one case, the couple lived about 30 minutes from the 'rough neighborhood' they were visiting for the first time --

Finally, I have been the recipient of generosity to own my own home - something I did not aspire to over the years as a single mom -- the blessing upon blessing is the arrangement for it to be paid off within ten years....so I know the relief, joy, pleasure and thanks that others have experienced. Blessings on your weekend,

Carey's Corner said...

Very worthy legacy to leave and hopefully help Maine's greatest resource, it's young people.

The Texican said...

Nice post for the Christmas season. Pappy

beckie said...

Beth, like you I would make sure my children and grandchildren were taken care of. Then, I would like to think I would be as generous as this kind soul.

Thanks for a heart warming story.It's one we can all take a lesson from especially this time of the year.

Technonana said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we would all realize that we don't have to be rich to add something to someone's life?
There is so much one can do to lift another's spirits... and this is the time of year to do it!!
If I had the Money... there are a lot of things I would do to help others.. but for now, I will be content to help them one at a time!!

Kallen305 said...

I think about this a lot! HA! The first thing I would do is pay off all my debt. I would then make sure my kids and family were taken care of.

I would then set up charitable trusts for spay/neuter programs and land conservation. I would also donate to various children related causes.

I would quit my job and go back to school as a vet tech and learn about wildlife rehab. I would buy a house way out in the sticks and make a wild life haven of sorts.

Jayne said...

Wow, how wonderfully generous. That is a life lived. It's always amazing to hear a story of someone who disperses their wealth like that.

egretsnest said...

Wow. What a generous thing to do. Amazing.

I know people say that money won't buy you happiness and I believe that is true. However, I know that if I were to win the lottery, I'd be okay. We're already happy and we know that giving away some of the money will be really important to us. So, give me some money, please state of California, I'll be good with it! :)

Mary said...

God Bless Mr. Alfond.

If I were a rich man, I'd give it to family and friends first, then I would replace my hardwood floors. Homeless children next.

Kathiesbirds said...

Wow, what a story! That is one positive investment in the future! Hooray for Mr. Alfond! I have thought about what I would do if I were rich or won the lottery. I would pay off family debt like you, then buy as much land as possible to live on and preserve in its natural state forever. I would donate it as a nature preserve.