Not one of the 2,500,000 visitors that read Amy Rawe’s viral post about Dolly Parton? Amy Rawe, a single mom who is employed full-time, and very part time blogger struck a nerve last month when she composed a very ‘raw” letter to Dolly Parton. To date this post has wracked up more than 2 million visitors. In her letter, Rawe admits to her former judgement of Ms. Parton and her “big boobs, teased hair, tiny waist and syrupy-sweet Southern accent to sell yourself and your brand as a country singer.” Yes, she really wrote that and worse. But somewhere between Rawe’s very Midwestern upbringing, subsequent Northeastern education and relocation to Tennessee as an adult and mother she discovered firsthand what it means to “put your money where your mouth is”. Which is what Rawe so eloquently describes in first person about her own Dolly Parton experiences as a Tennessean.
Rawe’s blog post made me think about the famous and not so famous here in the U.S. and their generosity. I was reminded of people like Warren Buffet, Bill & Melinda Gates, David Koch (Wendy’s), Dustin Moskovitz & Carrie Tuna (Facebook Co-Founders) and so many more. The Top 50 Givers of 2015 according to Forbes gave away $55 billion and we’re not talking about campaign donations here. These are philanthropic donations of every imaginable stripe.
If you’re the type that reads these generous exploits and thinks, “Well, it’s easy for them, they’re rich”. Try turning it around into our own backyard, or the generosity of “regular” folks. Like the Starbucks patrons that “pay it backward” for over 11 hours or 378 times in a drive through in Florida, or Oseola McCarty, a local washerwoman in Hattiesburg, Mississippi who became The University of Southern Mississippi’s most famous benefactor. McCarty managed to save and donate over $150,000 back in 1999 from her meager earnings. There is story after magical story if you look. I searched under “old lady donates millions” because a vaguely remembered the McCarty story and thought that was a great place to start. It was, but I stopped at 12 different stories.
It might be too late to give because of the tax man, but it’s never too late to give from the heart. Check out this site of “Best Charities for your Donation” and check out the Stanislaus Community Foundation if you want your donations to stay local!!