Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
A generous Atlanta family taps into The Power of Half.
In 2006, 14-year-old Hannah Salwen had an aha moment while out driving with her father, Kevin, a writer. "As Dad pulled up to a red light," recalls Hannah, now 17, "on our left was a Mercedes coupe; on our right was a homeless man on the sidewalk, begging for food. I said, 'If that guy didn't have such a nice car, maybe the other guy could have a meal.' My dad replied, 'Well, what if we didn't have such a nice car?'"
That conversation put the Salwens on a surprising path to philanthropy, recounted in Hannah and Kevin's new book, The Power of Half (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt): The family of four decided to sell their Atlanta house, downsize to a smaller home, and use half the proceeds from the sale to sponsor two villages in Ghana through the Hunger Project (THP.org), a nonprofit that works to end hunger and poverty in the developing world. "We all had to trust each other enough to go through with this crazy idea," Kevin says. "But to gain deeper trust and understanding, I think most anyone would give up some of their stuff."
Wait—Don't throw that tennis racket away! Where to donate anything to benefit a good cause
From the April 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine