Saturday, January 9, 2010

Powerball Philanthropy

When the Rev. Solomon Jackson Jr. won the $259.9 million Powerball jackpot last summer, he said someone else would be blessed with some of that money, too. Thursday, when he handed Morris College a check for $10 million during a jubilant midday program on campus, students, faculty and staff learned they were that collective somebody.

"This is one of the four greatest milestones in the 100 years of existence for Morris College," said Luns C. Richardson, who has served as Morris' president since 1972.

Occasionally, my co-workers and I discuss the possibility of winning the lottery. These conversations are always hilarious because I work with people who aren't materialistic or gluttonous. Instead of buying luxury vehicles and homes in the Cayman Islands, my co-workers say they would give large sums of money to inner-city schools, battered women's shelters, and hospitals in various developing countries.

I would pay off my student loans and the college expenses of my siblings, donate some money to the church that played a profound impact on my development, and make sure my parents could retire comfortably. I am sure I would make some purchases that some would call flashy, but most of my money would go to helping others. I am glad Rev. Jackson gave $10 million to Morris College. Morris is really small and I know it has had financial struggles in the past. It's good to know that even though we live in a "me" first society, there are still people out there willing to lend a helping hand.

Cause even though when times get rough
You never turned away
You were right there
And I thank you