The Power of Half

The Power of Half

One Family's Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
1
Rate this:

It all started when fourteen-year-old Hannah Salwen had a eureka moment. Seeing a homeless man in her neighborhood at the same instant she spotted a man driving a glistening Mercedes, she said, "Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal."

Until that day, the Salwens had been caught up like so many of us in the classic American dream--providing a good life for their children, accumulating more and more stuff, doing their part to help others but not really feeling it. So when Hannah was stopped in her tracks by this glaring disparity, her parents knew they had to act on her urge to do something. As a family, they made the extraordinary decision to sell their Atlanta mansion, buy a house half its size, and give half of the sale price to a worthy charity. At first it seemed outlandish: What, are we crazy? Then it became a challenge: We are totally doing this . Their plan eventually took them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. In the end they learned that they had the power to change a little corner of the world. And they found themselves changing too.

As Kevin Salwen says, "No one else is nuts enough to sell their house," but what his family discovered along the way will inspire countless others, no matter what their means or resources are. Warm, funny, and deeply moving, The Power of Half is the story of how one family grew closer as they discovered that half could be so much more.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, c2010.
ISBN: 9780547248066
0547248067
Call Number: 174 SALWEN
Characteristics: 242 p. ; cm.
Subjects: Consumer behavior -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
Consumption (Economics) -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
Additional Contributors: Salwen, Hannah

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

MadReads Jul 03, 2012

Yes, the Salwens could have given more and it doesn't seem like the made a terrible sacrifice (basically moving from a 2 million dollar home to a 1 million dollar home) but still it's an inspiring story and they did something that few others would even think of. What I took away was that anyone can give half of something and make a difference. It doesn't have to be half of your house. The Salwens don't expect that. It could be half of the money you spend on eating out each month or half of the time you spend watching TV a week, spent in volunteer service instead. It's a cool idea. They also address the problems in charitable giving. For example, donations can make people dependent instead of self-reliant or some service projects can be a waste, such as a church in Mexico that was repainted 5 times in one year on mission trips. Another distinction that they make, that I think is important, is the difference between relief and long-term projects that aim to make a lasting difference. I had never thought of the distinction before. If nothing else, The Power of Half will make you think differently about charitable giving and hopefully help you invest your time and money more wisely.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at GCPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top