Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"The Power Of Half" by Kevin and Hannah Salwen

This video was made by the brother in the book explaining about their family project which the book is all about.

The Power of Half by Kevin and Hannah Salwen is an inspirational true story about how their family lived with less to make a sizable contribution to really make a difference for a lot of people.  Hannah the teen daughter, co-author of this book, had a deep desire to help people less fortunate than her and was instrumental in getting her family to take a trip to Africa to actually see the people they were going to help with their donation to The Hunger Project.  The parents wanted to get their children to be more involved in their charitable decision making so agreed to go along with Hannah’s suggestion to down-size, sell their $1.95 million home and give half to charity. 

This book was written to encourage families to be more involved in helping others and share their story on how they did it.  It in no way recommends that everyone sell their home and move into a smaller one like they did.  Kevin, the father, summarizes the benefits their family experienced by going through the process of deciding how much to give, what charity to give it to and down-sizing by getting rid of a lot of things they didn’t need.  Through this process his family drew closer, communicated on a deeper level, enjoyed having a common goal to work towards, and an increased respect for each other.  His teens became more self-confident and developed leadership skills. 

One of the key points in the process that really gave the teens ownership of the project was to give every family member an equal vote in the decision making.  It was interesting to see the inner workings of this family and how they worked together.  I thought they should have actually sold their house first and then decided what to do with the money instead of promising the money to a charity before the house even sold.  You can visit their website at www.thepowerofhalf.com.  Some other suggested websites mentioned in the book are:  www.rebuiildingtogether.org, www.sharesavespend.com, www.handsonnetwork.org.

I liked Hannah’s heart but found myself plowing through the book to finish it.  I recommend it to parents who are looking for a way to unite their family and draw them closer or to anyone looking for help on how to get their children to be less selfish. 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

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