Stephen A. Peterson
Army Private First Class David Sweazy, though only 19 years old, always dreamed of being a philanthropist since he was 14 years old. His interest was greatly enhanced when he experienced a food drive as a Boy Scout.
After his deployment to Iraq, Private Sweazy would get stars in his eyes any time an Iraqi child or adult asked him for food, a drink of water, or any kind of clothing. “If I were wealthy, I’d give away millions and millions of dollars to as many kids as I could and wherever I can find them.”
Although Private Sweazy did not have a great deal of money, he became a philanthropist nonetheless. As he budgeted his Army pay, Private Sweazy had a few dollars and change at the end of each week that he cheerfully donated to some cause. Having learned money management skills from his parents in the formative stages of life, Private Sweazy developed a short list he called “The Charity List”:
Five dollars to the Baghdad orphanage
Get a pair of shoes for children in the orphanage
Collect funds for a girl who needs a new leg
Send a widow and her children clothing as they have husband/father
Get the squad members re-build a school
Provide a water pump for the central the neighborhood
On any day Private Sweazy is not on duty, he serves mainly Iraqi children. At one of the local orphanages Private Sweazy interacts with the children who have no relatives by reading stories, playing interactive games or listening to their many, many stories. When he returns to camp, unit members report seeing a sparkle in his eyes and joy in his voice when he tells them the many stories he relates to them about “his kids”. They believe it is because he discovered that he doesn’t have to dream about being a philanthropist just because he does not have millions of dollars in his possession. He is a philanthropist due to his love and desire to serve humanity for humanity’s benefit in the spirit of his Christianity.
Have you had the desire and dream of doing something great for humankind? Why not give someone a couple of dollars for a meal or something to drink? Start up and actively participating in a food or cloth drive for those dealing with temporary unemployment? Perhaps you may wish to a person, who had no much direction in her/his life.
Like Private Sweazy get some stars in your eyes and unconditional love in your heart.
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