Imagine winning the lottery.
Then imagine giving 98% of it away.
Violet and Allen Large won $11.2 Million dollars last year in the lottery. However, instead of going on spending sprees, world trips and buying shiny cars, they decided to do exactly the opposite: they gave almost all of it away. “What you’ve never had, you don’t miss,” Allan Large said shortly after collecting their winnings. The money, they felt, was nothing but a nuisance. And what was more, Violet was suffering from cancer — and the Larges knew that no amount of money could give her back her health. So they went about disposing of their money in the most beneficial ways they could think of. They gave the money away to hospitals, churches, family members, cemeteries, fire departments, the VON, the Red Cross, the War Amps and many other organizations. Their generosity was unparalleled.
They kept a mere 2% — approximately $200,000- – to keep their house running, particularly since Violet was undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. They stayed living in their same farmhouse, driving their same truck, and living the same lives they’d been living for decades. Last month, the Larges were named Individual Philanthropists of the Year by the Maritime Philanthropy Awards. The awards committee said the couple’s generosity “embodied and encouraged the idea of pure philanthropy.”
Violet died last weekend of ovarian cancer at the age of 79. She leaves behind a truly moving legacy of charity. She was buried yesterday by her family and friends, and her life celebrated as one rich not with money, but with generosity and love.
Photo Credit: Kim Scarborough on Flickr