Joan and Kevin Salwen were living a typical life. They were successful with a couple of teenagers and enjoyed all trappings of success, including a dream home.
Then one day, Kevin was driving his then-14-year-old, Hannah, home from a sleepover when they stopped at an intersection they had stopped at hundreds of times before.
As usual, there was a homeless man outside with a handmade sign that said, “Homeless, Hungry, Please Help.”
As Kevin searched around his car for some money, his daughter kept swiveling her head back and forth between the homeless man and the Mercedes in the lane next to the them.
She had an epiphany and she was getting angry — if the Mercedes driver had a cheaper car, the homeless man could have a meal.
When they got home, she told her parents she didn’t want to be the family that talked about making a difference — she wanted theirs to be the family that did something to make a difference.
After much soul-searching and thought, the family together decided to sell their large 5 bedroom home in Atlanta (which included eight fireplaces and an elevator), move into a smaller home and give away half the money they made from the sale to the Hunger Project.
Kevin says they didn’t lose a big home — they gained a huge connection to each other.
He explains how their old way of life was slowly eroding away at their family unit.
And he says you don’t have to sell your home to make a difference. He has tips for people struggling to survive in these tough times to immediately make an impact on their community.
Kevin wrote about their experiences in “The Power of Half: One Family’s Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving.” Find out how they traded stuff for togetherness.
For more information, visit the family’s site thepowerofhalf.com.