Giving is living
“Tuesdays with Morrie” earned a place on the New York Times’ Best Sellers list for more than four years. The highly acclaimed memoir reflects on a life-changing experience for Mitch Albom, the kickoff speaker for our third year at The Collaborative Group.
Before reconnecting with his old professor, Morrie, Mitch admitted he thought charity meant writing a check. But, in the magic that came from Tuesdays spent with the old man dying from Lou Gehrig’s disease, Mitch learned that charity means so much more.
During one of their conversations, Mitch asked Morrie why he didn’t play the sympathy card, he was dying after all. Morrie explained, “Why would I take? Taking feels like dying. Giving is living.”
Mitch, once addicted to his job, is now addicted to giving. Nothing feels better than the giving he has done in Detroit and abroad, particularly in Haiti. With over six privately funded charities bearing his name and his dedication, Mitch is most excited about:
- A Time to Help: This organization meets monthly and seeks out individuals willing to donate a small amount of time to sprucing up buildings, playgrounds, and neighborhoods in Detroit.
- S.A.Y. Detroit: Founded after a night spent in a local homeless shelter during an exceptionally cold Michigan winter, Mitch decided to raise enough funds to ensure that Detroit homeless could stay in shelters until the weather warmed; he raised so much money that he was able to start a local clinic for homeless children and their mothers as well.
“All you need is a good idea and a little bit of energy. You can accomplish much,” Mitch expressed, noting again that giving really is living. And, it doesn’t matter how much money or time you have because giving back is a sliding scale – you CAN make a difference with just one-hour or $10. Give what you can.
What’s next for Mitch? Believe it or not, he is starting two new charities:
- The Heart of Detroit: A partnership with Channel 4-WDIV. This television show will profile local, unsung heroes who give of themselves while expecting nothing in return.
- Working Homes, Working Families: Taking two of Detroit’s biggest challenges head-on, this charity will match vacant homes with families in need of housing.
His addiction to charity is making an impact on our community, “Giving back is the best thing I do… [everything else] pales in comparison.”
Click here to watch a video of Mitch’s presentation courtesy of our member John Richardson of MotionEcho Media.