Family Sells Mansion to Fight Poverty

The Salwen family sold their home to fund poverty alleviation in Africa photo

Image credit: The Power of Half

A few weeks back I wrote about one couple's alternative American dream of living simply, and TreeHugger founder Graham Hill is pursuing a green retrofit of a tiny New York apartment. It seems these folks are not alone in their belief that less really can be more. In fact, one family in Atlanta Georgia recently decided to sell their 6000 square foot home, move into a house less than half the size, and donate half the proceeds to fighting poverty in Africa. I stumbled across this inspiring project in a blog post on the Power of Half by my friend and colleague TAO. As documented in the video below, The Power of Half project was the result of 14-year-old Hannah Salwen's increasing concern at the poverty and injustice she saw in the world. While she was living in a 6,500sq ft mansion in Atlanta with her parents and brother, she saw others on the street with no food to eat.

But rather than simply lament the tragedy of it all, Hannah and her family decided to do something about it. The family began weekly meetings, researching the problems of the world and figuring out the best people they could partner with to make a real difference. Unsurprisingly, they also found themselves growing closer together in the process

Of course, the Salwen's had more space and money than most to give up, but they quite rightly point out that money isn't the only thing we can offer. They've created a book to document their experiences and inspire others. As Hannah so rightly says, "Everyone has their own Half, you just have to find it."

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