An interesting video which can be related to myths and heroes (famous celebrities – Bono, Bill Gates, Doris Buffet, etc.. to what extent can these good Samaritans be considered heroes?) and also social progress – To what extent do these good Samaritans contribute to make the world a better place ? If progress is advance or development toward a better human condition, how has the idea of charity evolved over the years? (see charity versus philanthropy)
TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO Philanthropist provides….
Each day, thousands of people with mental illness areliving on the streets of cities and towns acrossAmerica. The U.S Department of Housing and UrbanDevelopment says one-fifth of the 610,000 homelessacross the country suffer from a mental illness. DorisBuffett is the sister of investor and billionaire WarrenBuffett. She has donated one million dollars through anon-profit organization to house homeless people withmental illness.
Doris Buffett is a philanthropist, a wealthy person whogives money to help make life better for other people. She lives in the small town of Fredericksburg, Virginia.Her recent gift of one million dollars went to a local non-profit called Micah Ecumenical Ministries. She saysshe is happy to help homeless people with mentalillness find new homes.
« I’m overwhelmingly happy that due to my brother’s brilliance, and he’s hadgood luck, we’ve all got good luck, that I can do what my heart wants me todo. And this is it, I’m determined to give away my money before I die. »
Vickie Chevrette and her brother Jerry Grimsley were among 20 people toreceive homes as part of this effort. They still remember that cold Januaryday, when they packed up their tents and stepped into a real house for thefirst time in three years.
« I couldn’t believe it. It was wonderful. It was warm. It was solid. »
« Warm. Well, we didn’t have to worry about the snow no more, or the rains,because we used to get flooded, we had to go buy a pump to pump water out from our tent sections. »
Meghan Cotter is the Director of Micah Ministries. She organized thepurchase of seven so-called « Buffett Houses. » To live in one, she says,residents must pay 300 dollars rent per month per room, or do volunteer workto make up for the part of rent they cannot pay.
« We are not just putting people into housing and providing support services, we are actually giving them reasons to get up in the morning, and come and be a part of something. And a lot of them really have a lot of value in that. »
Vickie Chevrette’s receives disability payments from the government. It paysfor the rent for their home. The home provides her with privacy and comfort.Since moving into the house, Vickie Chevrette has been mentally stable. Shenow can remember to take her medicine instead of worrying about where totake a bath. And she loves her kitchen, with its granite countertop, and newappliances.
« Everybody that comes into this kitchen says they want it. »
Although his back injury makes it hard for Jerry Grimsley to do anyhousework, he tries to mow the lawn and plant flowers in the back yard.
« Just to show we have pride in the place, and we are trying to take care of it. And show Ms. Buffett that we are really thankful that she gave us thisopportunity. »
Doris Buffett’s contributions have helped Micah Ministries cut the number ofhomeless in the city by 58 percent over the last five years. The philanthropistsays she is extremely happy with this project, and plans to donate even moremoney in the future.
I’m Marsha James.
Lin Yang and Enming Liu reported this story from Fredericksburg,VA. MarshaJames adapted it for Learning English. Mario Ritter was the editor.
Words in This Story
philanthropist – n. a wealthy person who gives money and time to help makelife better for other people
non-profit – adj. not existing or done for the purpose of making money
brilliant – adj. extremely intelligent or successful
disability – n. a condition (such as an illness or injury) that damages or limitsa person’s physical or mental abilities