by Devin D. Thorpe
Your Mark On The World combines inspiring stories of ordinary people doing remarkable things to make the world a better place with practical advice to empower anyone to give more to a cause (charity, non-profit or social venture) without giving up a career or family.
The inspiring stories include: Botevy’s life and death struggle through Pol Pot’s killing fields that led her ultimately to create an orphanage in Phnom Penh. Rick’s personal crusade to cure cystic fibrosis to ensure that his two afflicted grandchildren will attend his funeral and not the other way around. The eight-member Smith family’s world service tour. David’s decision to walk away from a successful career as an international executive to volunteer to care for victims of leprosy in rural India. These stories are combined with practical financial advice to empower you to give more to a cause without giving up your family or your career. The book answers this questions:
- How do I get out of debt and stay out of debt?
- Which charity or cause do I choose to make my donation?
- How do I decide where to volunteer?
- How can our family plan a volunteer vacation?
- How can I save money for retirement?
- How much should I contribute to my 401k?
- Can I use Mint to manage my budget?
- How to retire early enough to devote healthy years to volunteering?
This must-read book provides an overview of philanthropy in America and around the world, providing you with a clear picture of charity and its fruits. You’ll learn the ability to leave your mark on the world.
The Poorest of the Poor
In India, Mother Teresa’s adopted home and the place where she labored among the poorest of the poor, countless people still devote their lives to ending the poverty and disease-driven suffering that continues to afflict that land.
The Smiths (see Chapter 1) were among the first to tell me about a special place near Chennai where Rising Star Outreach has a three-legged approach to reducing the misery in the leper colonies of the state of Tamil Nadu: education, medical care, and micro grants.
David Ostler, along with his wife Rachelle, the unpaid, in-country director at Rising Star took early retirement from United Health Group, where he had most recently served as the head of a division generating nearly $1 billion in annual revenue. At age 54, he was at the peak of his career and opportunity for the Dartmouth-educated executive was unlimited.
David notes that he’s had the opportunity to travel much of the world on business and wanted to take the chance to do something international while he and his wife had the good health to do it. He also notes that his parents are in good health so he doesn’t worry about them while he’s living in India.
Becky Douglas founded Rising Star Outreach (RSO) in 2002, after a visit to India where she witnessed the abject poverty and wretched conditions in which people were living. Initially, RSO provided support to other organizations operating in support of this community in India, but in 2004, RSO opened its first home and school to begin caring for and teaching children. Beginning with a class of 27, the school has grown nearly eight-fold and now serves 225 students.
The school is well known in the community. About 80% of the students come from the leper colonies. Although there are other public and private schools available to these children, many would not be in school at all but for the opportunity to attend the RSO school. The other 20% of the students are from the local community, not directly associated with the leper colonies.
Given that members of the leper colonies are viewed as being among the lowest castes in society, having children from the broader community participating in the school helps to demonstrate to both communities the importance of seeing people as individuals and certainly not as members of a caste.