Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 03 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Francis Xavier
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Family wins Powerball jackpot and gives it away

WOMAN SPEAKING AT PRESS CONFERENCE

Mel Evans | Associated Press

Zelda Caldwell - published on 07/19/17

"I could have gotten a yacht and never come back, but we just have a heart and mind to do this work."

What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy a new house, a car, a boat, a trip around the world?

After winning $429.6 million in a Powerball jackpot last year, Trenton, New Jersey resident Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven adult children decided to do something else entirely: they’re using their prize money to help those who need it most.

As a result of their good fortune, the Smiths have established a charitable foundation to help the poor in Trenton’s drug- and crime-aflicted South Side.

“I could have gotten a yacht and never come back, but we just have a heart and mind to do this work,” Valerie Arthur, one of Smith’s children, told the Times of Trenton.

The Smith Family Foundation will work with Trenton-based organizations, “one grant at a time” to “empower the community, cultivate leaders and transform lives through leadership development programs,” according to the Times.

Pearlie Smith, who worked in Trenton public schools, shares her philosophy of giving back with her children. One daughter, Katherine Nunnally, heads a program that mentors young women, and the others have volunteered with their church and local soup kitchens.

“I think that seed has always been with us … but after winning the lottery, we’re able to do it on a much larger scale now than we have in the past,” Arthur told the Times.

The Smiths attribute their good luck (they spent $6 to buy the winning ticket at a neighborhood 7-11) to “divine intervention.” Their decision to use their windfall to help others is an inspiration to us all. As an editorial in the Times of Trenton put it:

We’d say it was an act of divine intervention that brought the Smiths to our midst, allowing all of Trenton to bask in their generosity and civic spirit.

Tags:
CharityPoverty
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
FATHER JOHN FIELDS
John Burger
Priest who volunteered for COVID-19 vaccine t...
John Paul II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's guide to a fruitful Advent
ADVENT
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to be watchful during Advent
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.