According to St Paul Jesus once said that ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’. Without doubt they are words taken to heart by philanthropist Chuck Feeney. This may be because he heard them during his school days at St Mary of the Assumption High School in New Jersey where he grew up.
Joint founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group Feeney became fabulously wealthy, earning millions of dollars in profit every year. But he wasn’t interested in the money and in 1982 secretly transferred his entire stake in the business into a private foundation. All the money had to be given away by 2020. Grants were given on the condition that recipients wouldn’t say where the money had come from. On 14th September 2020 the foundation finally achieved its goal and was closed. Feeney had given away over $8 billion. Interviewed in 2011 Feeney said that he couldn’t think of a more rewarding thing to do with wealth than give it away while still living, and ‘to devote oneself to meaningful efforts to improve the human condition.’
As Feeney has discovered Jesus wasn’t giving advice but stating a fact – no matter how much or how little we have it is more blessed to give than receive.
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