Janice’s Review Blog

‘Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World’ by Bill Clinton

Posted on: February 5, 2009

Former President Bill Clinton wrote Giving to show examples of people in all walks of life giving to make life better for those less fortunate.  Even though his editor, Bob Gottlieb, suggested Clinton use human interest examples, readers need to work their way through the politician’s writing.

Individuals like Brianne Schwantes and Oseola McCarty share stories of how they managed to overcome the odds and give to those in need.  Despite a rare bone disease, Schwantes started volunteering at the age of 13 and spoke to others about the importance of becoming a volunteer.  For over seventy-five years, McCarty washed and ironed people’s clothes and saved her money.  At the age of 87, she decided to give $150,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi for scholarships for African-American students.

At the other end of the spectrum, the book shows how wealthy individuals like Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates set up or contribute to foundations to solve problems in the United States and other countries.  The Gateses formed their foundation while Buffet decided to give money to their foundation along with donations to his children’s foundations.

The private sector organized fair trade coffee markets.  Small coffee farmers in developing countries grow their coffee and earn a fair income from its sale.  Other organizations also provide a fair trade environment.

The book lays out ways that govenment and religious groups help with the giving process.  Govenments set a standard for establishing programs.  Religious groups give wherever there is a need.

A dozen pages of resources in the book categorize Web sites and books for readers to obtain additional information and opportunities for giving.

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