Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

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by Bill Clinton
     
 

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GIVING: How Each of Us Can Change the World is an inspiring look at how individual endeavors can save lives and solve problems, and it offers compelling examples of both citizen and corporate activism at work in the world today. The book will go on sale nationwide September 24 with a first printing of 750,000 copies. It will be published simultaneously as anSee more details below

Overview

GIVING: How Each of Us Can Change the World is an inspiring look at how individual endeavors can save lives and solve problems, and it offers compelling examples of both citizen and corporate activism at work in the world today. The book will go on sale nationwide September 24 with a first printing of 750,000 copies. It will be published simultaneously as an ebook, as a Large Print Edition, and as a Random House Audio book, read by the author. Additionally, a portion of President Clinton's proceeds from the book will be donated to charities and nonprofits that are doing their part to change the world.

"I’ve done my best in this book to demonstrate what I’ve seen firsthand through my Foundation's work in Africa and around the world: that all kinds of giving can make a profoundly positive difference," said President Clinton. "The amount of good that so many individuals and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been able to do has proven to me that almost everyone--regardless of income, available time, age, and skills--can do something useful for others and, in the process, strengthen the fabric of our shared humanity."

GIVING highlights the work of a number of extraordinary people and organizations--some famous, as well as many private citizens whom readers will be hearing about for the first time--all of whom represent a global floodtide of nongovernmental nonprofit activity. Their remarkable stories suggest that the act of giving takes many forms, and emphasizes that offerings of time, skills, objects, and ideas can be just as important as contributions of money.

Clinton writes about the life-changing aspect of giving---of men and women who traded in their corporate careers, and the fulfillment they now experience through their new efforts and associations. He also examines, in a chapter on organizing markets for the public good, progressive companies that do good work: going green; opening markets for the under-served in disadvantaged communities; hiring people who were once on welfare; and promoting fair wages and decent working conditions for all. Clinton addresses the role of government, suggesting that when it works well, citizen service can reinforce and supplement its efforts; when it doesn’t, citizens need to harness time, money, knowledge, and skills in an effort to change, improve, or protect government policy. He outlines what we as individuals can do, the steps we can all take, how much we should consider giving, and why our giving is so important.

"Bill Clinton’s actions and deeds during his post-presidential years, both directly and through his foundation, have had an extraordinary impact on the lives of millions," said Mehta. "His new book suggests that all of us can have a profound influence on the lives of others through acts of giving. I believe this book has the power to change both our outlook and our communities, and will make a real contribution towards turning the world into a better place."

President Clinton’s previous book, My Life, was published by Knopf in 2004. It remains one of the bestselling memoirs of all time.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
The former president provides dozens of effective and communicable examples of giving. "I wrote this book to encourage you to give whatever you can, because everyone can give something. And there's so much to be done, down the street and around the world," he writes. For Clinton (My Life, 2004), giving is the right thing to do; acts of unfettered goodwill promote harmony and trust. Writing in an unhurried style, the author doesn't chide or prod the reader, but simply provides numerous examples of giving of all kinds, whether it be a multimillion-dollar gift or the simple donation of an old, unused saxophone to a school music program. Bill Gates, Bono and Tiger Woods may grab the headlines, but Clinton is especially concerned with the giver of modest gifts or what little spare time they have. To that effect, Clinton quotes Warren Buffett, who recently gave $30 billion to the Gates Foundation: "My gift is nothing . . . .The people I really admire are the small donors who give up a movie or a restaurant meal to help needier people." Clinton inspires by pointing the way and introducing a company of givers. If you know how to tie a fishing fly, teach someone else. If you're appalled by the trash on the sidewalk or your local beach, pick it up-or, better, organize a sustaining drive to keep the area clean. If you own a business, consider hiring someone on welfare or with a disability. Also, says Clinton, think about injecting your giving with a dash of humor-down in his home state, there's an annual raccoon supper to equip the local football team; Clinton advises using plenty of barbecue sauce on the meat. He goes on to suggest participation in something as profound as Seeds of Peace, whichbrings together young people of different religious and ethnic groups long at odds with one another. An important message conveyed with a light touch. First printing of 750,000

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781615568093
Publisher:
Random House Inc
Publication date:
09/04/2007
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

A few years ago Sheri Saltzberg and Mark Grashow of New York, recently retired from public health administration and teaching, went to Zambia for a wedding. Their son suggested they go to Zimbabwe to visit a family that had befriended him and to see Victoria Falls. While they were there, they visited several schools and were appalled to see that there were no textbooks, empty libraries, no science equipment, no basic school supplies, and often no school breakfast or lunch.

When they got home they founded their own NGO, the U.S.-Africa Children's Fellowship, and formed a partnership with the Zimbabwe Organization of Rural Associations for Progress, which had been working since 1980 to help improve the economy and education in individual communities.

Over the next two years, they located thirty-five U.S. schools to partner with thirty-five schools in Zimbabwe, and they've shipped four forty-foot containers to the schools, with more than 150,000 books, school supplies, toys, games, sports equipment, bicycles, clothing, sewing machines, agricultural tools, and other items. They raise funds for items needed but not donated–school uniforms, locally printed books, and educational materials and scholarships.

In the U.S. partner schools, Mark and Sheri try to give students an appreciation for what life is like for their counterparts in Zimbabwe. American kids learn that the kids in their partner school often get up at 5 a.m. to walk several miles to school, may well have nothing to eat, and may have lost one or both parents to AIDS. They also learn that many kids don't go to school at all because they can't afford the school fees, uniforms, or even a notebook and pencil; they have to work to support or stay home to care for a sick parent or younger sibling; or they don't have shoes and can't walk long distances in winter. The American children are empowered to take action—collecting donations and writing letters to the Zimbabwean students.

Mark and Sheri themselves fly to Zimbabwe as each shipment arrives and help distribute the donations to the schools. "The effects of the shipment have far exceeded anything we dreamed of" says Mark. "For the first time, students can take books home to read. Five percent of the kids in the seventh grade used to pass reading tests; now it's 60 percent. Three years ago, only one student in his district passed his A-level exams for university. This year, thirty-eight students passed. There are now art and sewing classes. Soccer flourishes because there's an abundance of soccer balls. Attendance in many kindergartens has increased threefold due to the introduction of toys. In September we'll increase the schools we partner with from thirty-five to fifty." The program has proven so successful, there's now a waiting list of three hundred schools.

Why did they do this? Mark says, "I believe that each of us has an obligation to level the playing field of life. Schools that have no books, communities without water, and people without access to medical care are not someone else's problem. We all have a capacity to make a difference somewhere. We just have to decide if we have the will to do it."

To be connected to hundreds of nonprofits and organizations doing great work, view the resources guide at www.clintonfoundation.org/giving

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