A Surprise Millionaire in Georgia thought he was doing a wonderful thing by leaving his local church a staggering bequest of $60,000,000; his entire life’s savings. However, the momentous event seemed to be more of a burden for the small congregation instead of a blessing. Where to use the money and how to use the money were decisions left up to the congregation with no direction from their benefactor. For a house of faith who wanted to remain just that, a house of the faithful; this posed some major concerns.
Would greed rear its ugly head, would they make the right decisions regarding the use of the money when there were literally thousands of worthy causes and organizations that could benefit? These concerns were turning what was meant to be a wonderful thing in to a major stressor for the church and its congregation.
This brings me to my point for all of you potential Surprise Millionaires out there. When determining who you will leave your wealth to, it is best to divide that wealth between several organizations, individuals and worthy causes rather than placing the entire estate and all of the pressures it may bring on one entity. Secondly, please either stipulate or at least suggest what you would like the funds to be used for.
A little planning on your part could save some very grateful, but conflicted people a little angst in the future.
Sidney Thomas of Athens Georgia loved reading; so much so that his home could easily be mistaken for the local library. And why not, he was a retired librarian. In fact, the University of Georgia libraries were the recipients of many second hand books donated by Sidney Thomas over the years. But it was his last donation that left everyone speechless…
After smallivy’s reaction to my last post, I thought I had better go with something more uplifting this week. So how about an elderly gentleman who has donated over $400,000 to local Georgia charities simply by using money he earned from recycling! That’s right, bottles, paper and pennies were used to accumulate wealth that has blessed countless people over the years.
Once again I have to stress that “anyone can accumulate wealth”! Even with an often overlooked source of income like recycling.
Eileen Russell the retired P.E. instructor and field hockey coach at the University of Georgia was a frugal sort. Known for repairing the teams’ hockey sticks to save the university money, Eileen believed in stretching a dollar as far as it could go. She was also quite fond of letting others know that she hadn’t much money herself.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when they learned that Eileen had left her $1.7 million estate to the university! I think the comment below sums up the sentiment:
“UGA officials do not know how she amassed the money — and Jewett remarked that Russell’s salary and retirement package from UGA would not have amounted to such a sum…”
I think I can answer that question. It was through frugality and wise and consistent investing; the hallmarks of a Surprise Millionaire.