What would you do if you won the lottery? It’s a pretty fun question to think about and it’s amazing how a single lottery ticket can change lives drastically.
The Smith Family of Trenton, New Jersey just won the Powerball lottery in 2016 with a whopping amount of prize money: they won 429 million US dollars, but they sure had a good idea about what to do with all that extra income.
The lucky winner, Pearlie Mae Smith, declared in a press conference afterward that she and her seven children wanted to dedicate this lottery win to their community and were making plans to give back to the local people.
Almost a year later, the Smith family has already changed the lives of dozens of people.
“It was like affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life, and do for our community and do for each other and for our families and we have been funded to do that,” daughter Valerie Arthur said during the press conference.
After taxes were deducted, every family member would be eligible to receive just about 25 million dollars. The Smith family paid off all the bills they had, including expensive student loans and other financial troubles.
When the family was financially settled, they shifted their focus towards helping people who were struggling to make ends meet. The Smith Family Foundation was born.
“The seeds for the foundation were planted decades ago in the South Side of Trenton, where Seamon and Pearlie Smith raised their children on values of hard work, love of God, and giving back.”
“Our mission is to empower our community, cultivate leaders and transform lives by providing and funding and leadership development to Trenton-based organizations.”
In short, the Smith Foundation focuses on the large things: improving education, cultivation, and transformation by providing financial support to many different organizations in the city as well as providing support directly to children and their families.
Harold Smith, the program manager of the foundation and one of the eight prize money recipients, talked to NJ.com about their charitable goal.
“We want to fund programs that directly affect systems of poverty so we can help change the systems or change the dynamics that are causing people to be in poverty.”
“Rather than just helping them find food or give away food, we can make it so they now have the ability to obtain employment, get their proper education in order to be able to go out and get their own food,” Harold said.
“When people think of the city of Trenton, we don’t want the first thing they think of to be gangs and violence,” Smith continued. “We want people to think of a vibrant city, a city that’s on the upswing, a city that’s bringing new life into the community, the capital of the state.”
“The foundation is a legacy for the family,” he concludes.
What an amazing family. Their dedication to sharing their fortune with people in need and changing lives is truly heartwarming.
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$429M Powerball jackpot winners revealed at press conferenceThe Smith family – a mom and seven adult children – emerged Friday as the winners of the $429.6 million Powerball jackpot and credited “divine intervention” in helping them pick the numbers.
Posted by NJ.com on Friday, May 13, 2016