Last May, Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven adult children won the Powerball jackpot - $429.6 million. They chose the cash payout, a cool $284 million which they split eight ways. Who among us hasn't dreamed of such luck? But Pearlie Mae doesn't call it luck. She says the numbers came to her through divine intervention.
What these eight people have done with their windfall speaks to their individual and collective character. Instead of spending millions on yachts, extravagant vacations, etc., they created a charitable foundation. The Smith Family Foundation's theme is 'Sowing into the city of Trenton, one grant at a time, with love and dedication to our community.'
They have provided funding for youth programs and scholarships, with an eye on long-term benefits for the community. They are committed to helping those in poverty, not through temporary fixes of food and shelter, but through job training so those affected can eventually care for themselves. The foundation hopes to partner with city organizations which share its vision - nothing less than the transformation of Trenton's image from a violent gang-run city into a city full of opportunity and hope.
Talk about divine intervention.