What will free $100 million buy? Happiness? I don’t think so.
There are so many stories that illustrate the fact that free
money is a noose around one’s neck. First of all, it wasn’t
earned, hence has no value. Secondly, in more cases than
not, the recipient splurges, squanders and has little sense
as to how to plan and control this sudden largesse. I think
a rewording of an admonition in Holy Scripture in this
regard, is appropriate: free money is the root of all evil.
It’s like liquor to a common drunk: it makes a fool of the
receiver. It can be a real blessing, however, if used
right. But how many know how to do that?
Mark Zuckerberg gave a school district in New Jersey $100
million, on condition it be used to improve schools, hire
qualified teachers, etc., and was to be matched with equal
funds that the district would raise. The matching funds is
always a good idea. In this case most of the millions
disappeared into committees, consultants, etc., with schools
having nothing to show for it. It is commendable that Mark
would make such a magnanimous gift – but, as with most
people with sudden riches, the urge to spread it around;
give big chunks to charities, erect a monument, etc., many
times ends up doing nothing but corrupting recipients. And
in New Jersey it doesn’t take all that much.
So, what’s a person to do with millions to give away? I
immediately think of how much Samaritan’s Purse could use
and totally appreciate another Semi stocked with tools,
power saws, tarps and all types of building material to be
used when they head into a disaster area just ripped apart
with the latest tornado … or hurricane … or a major
conflagration. I have many friends who have donated their
vacations to assist Samaritan’s Purse in rebuilding
hurricane families’ homes in Louisiana and Mississippi; the
devastation in Joplin, Missouri; and other places around
this country. But they also flew equipment, materials and
manpower to places in Japan, China, Haiti and Russia that
suffered from cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes. And they
do it all with donated funds. And often times they offer a
small money donation to help tide the family through, if
it’s available. Not millions, but desperately needed
“blood, sweat and tears” to get victims through the worst of
Samaritan’s Purse depends on God to provide – and He does!
Through the gifts of those who have $10, $50, $100 to help
out those in dire straits. Wherever there is a disaster,
count on Samaritan’s Purse to be one of the first
responders; and they don’t wait to be invited.
They also build hospitals and clinics and dig wells to serve
areas such as Haiti, Central America and some African areas
that have no resources. The way it works is to also
marshall the residents to assist in the rebuilding process
so they can appreciate the sweat of their own labor and also
overcome the depression that hits when “all is gone.” This
comfort, friendship and compassion gives new meaning to life
when suddenly your roof, house, livelihood, everything is
destroyed. And there is no charge.
The next time you see a huge, beautiful semi on the road
with SAMARITAN’S PURSE written on its sides, you’ll know
that help is on the way to the latest tornado, flood or
other disaster area. And you can also thank Franklin Graham
and all the volunteers for this beautiful idea.