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TAI Motivational Moments Blog

  • Writer's pictureJerry Justice

Ultimate Display of Humility & Generosity

  1. 1.4 BILLION people lack access to clean drinking water (In embarrassing contrast, did you know you have a choice of 108 brands of BOTTLED water?)

  2. More people have a mobile telephone than have a toilet

  3. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day

  4. Number of children in the world - 2.2 billion.  Number in poverty - 1 billion (every second child) Hunger has always been one of my focused charity efforts, both for volunteering and contributing. 1 in 6 Americans go hungry every day, 35% of which are children! 870 million people in the world don't have enough to eat. Did you know that 40-50% of food harvested in the United States never gets eaten? And, to add insult to injury, we spend $1 BILLION per year to dispose of it! Seems like the hunger issue and the waste issue need some good minds to get these two together! I was also inspired by a news story of a Minnesota couple that fulfilled Mother Teresa's suggestion.  Charles E. and Myrtle L. Stroud lived in the tiny town of Windom, Minnesota. Born Myrtle Erickson in 1909, Stroud graduated in 1929 from Miss Wood's School in Minneapolis, one of the first prep academies in the nation for kindergarten teachers. She taught in Minnesota schools for several years and attended the University of Minnesota in 1932. She married Charles Stroud in 1943 and the couple settled in Windom for the rest of their lives. Charles Stroud made his money through ownership of the State Theater in Windom, farmland holdings and various other investments. The Strouds were described as "... not into being pretentious about their wealth.  They drove a Cadillac in the '50s and '60s, their home was very modest. Houses were not their thing. They wanted life to be simple." Charles, who died in 1973, had attended the university in the early 1920s. Neither Myrtle nor Charles had siblings and the couple had no children. Myrtle Stroud died in 2010 at age 101. Upon her death, the University of Minnesota received a letter indicating it was a beneficiary of the Estate.  It turned out to be its largest single gift for scholarships -- $14 million! The gift was used to establish the Charles E. and Myrtle L. Stroud Scholarship fund for the College of Liberal Arts, the U's largest college. Beginning fall 2011, it helped 45 students, a number that will grow over the years as the endowment is fully established and invested. That they chose to make university students their heirs touched UM President Eric Kaler, who said of the gift: "It came from their heart, unprompted. We're incredibly grateful for that." Myrtle Stroud also made sizable donations to the hospital in Windom, a nursing home and her church. Guess it's really true, it's not about how much you have, it's how much you do with what you have! What a legacy, not only in what they chose to share upon their deaths, but in the very ways they chose to live.

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