This is Not a Story About Money, but of a Man Who Learned That Giving Time and Love is Priceless.
ABC TV’s hit show, the Secret Millionaire sends millionaires out to experience a life on
a very small budget and with the goal of finding amazing organizations doing incredible work in their community.
On the show that aired March 13, 2011, San Diego millionaire Marc Paskin embarked on an adventure that taught him some valuable lessons he will never forget.
“Marc Paskin came from a poor family and worked his way through college. He used his life savings of a thousand bucks for a down payment on a duplex. That was the start of a career in buying and selling real estate that turned him into a multi-millionaire” (ABC Secret Millionaire). Paskin is now a Real Estate Investor at The Paskin Group. He and his wife, Marsha were married for 28 years until she tragically passed away due to diabetes.
Paskin was sent to Detroit, Michigan for 6 days, with no credit cards and only $40 cash for groceries. Set out to meet people making a difference in the lives of others, Paskin met and volunteered with three different organizations.
First, he met Beverly at Young Detroit Builders, who focus on youth who have lived a challenging life and train them to manage their finances and how to do various construction jobs. YDB rehabilitates or builds new homes for low income families and people with disabilities. In the past 17 years, they have rebuilt 800 homes. At the end of the show, Paskin presented YDB with a check for $40,000.
Another group Paskin discovered was The Man Network, which uses volunteers from the neighborhood to patrol by car and foot. Their presence helps keep the neighborhood safer. At the end of the show, Paskin presented them with a check for $10,000.
Seemingly Paskin’s most touching experience was through meeting John from Really Living. This organization gives uninsured patients free transportation to medical appointments and some household help. So, Paskin signed up and picked up Matt for his dialysis.
During this appointment, Paskin met Courtney, a 24 year old mom on dialysis. Courtney had a kidney transplant four years prior, which went into failure three years before the show. Marc asked how he could help Courtney who shared she needed help with moving some things in her house to the storage. She said, “Anything you do would be wonderful for me.”
Many living with debilitating conditions value a bit of time someone can spend with them to give a little help around the house or just be there as a friend. Loved ones often think it takes a ton of time or effort, but it is the little things that can bring joy to those whose battle illness and pain. Paskin commented, “I was not only helping her with chores around the house, but spending some time letting her know people care about her … care about her daughter.”
While spending time with Courtney, she shared about her 4 year old daughter, London, who was born at 27 weeks weighing only 1 lb 10 oz and had an emergency colostomy. London was in the hospital 2 months then Courtney’s transplant failed. Paskin commented, “I just feel bad about what she has to go through in life.”
At the end of the show, Paskin gave John at Really Living $40,000. In addition, he surprised everyone when he gave the last check to Courtney and her daughter in the amount of $20,000. Paskin said, “I see what she’s going through and she breaks my heart and i wanted to do something nice for her.”
To wrap up the show, Paskin shared a few things he discovered while on this mission. He said:
“I’ve always thought it’s good to do good things for people, but maybe I didn’t quite realize how much they appreciate it and how important it is. So I’ve learned a lot.” Paskin added, “Not everybody has money they can give away, but everybody can give some of their time and some of their love to people and it would be a better world if everybody would do that.”
These are words that we can take to heart, as we think about our friend or family member or neighbor living with a debilitating condition. We can all make a difference!
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