(1908 – 1999)
Oseola McCarty was born in Marion County, Mississippi. She had lived there all her life. When she was young, she wanted to become a nurse but due to her aunt and her grandmother becoming ill when she was a young schoolgirl, she had to leave school after the sixth grade in order to care for them.
There’s a lot of talk about self-esteem these days. It seems pretty basic to me. If you eat to feel proud of yourself, you’ve got to do things you can be proud of. Feelings follow actions.– Oseola McCarty
Oseola came from a long line of washerwomen and so she followed in their footsteps in order to look after her family. She was a washerwoman for over seventy years! She lived to the ripe old age of 91 years old and had never married or had any children.
I can’t do everything but I can do something to help somebody. And what I can do I will do. I wish I could do more.– Oseola McCarty
Oseola was a frugal woman that didn’t spend money on frivolous things and didn’t even own an air-conditioner even though Mississippi is very warm. Only when she was older did her banker, which was concerned for her health, urge her to buy an air-conditioner for herself.
She was very young when she started saving her money and creating a habit of saving and investing her money and she continued with this through her whole career. She lived simply and never wasted money. Oseola also had a strong work ethic because she believed that a hard worker feels good about themselves. So, she worked hard and only ever bought what she needed to survive. Due to this, she accumulated a large sum of money.
If you want to feel proud of yourself, then do good. Take action that will make you proud… And if you really want to feel proud, then do something to help someone else.– Oseola McCarty
At the age of 88 years old, Oseola wanted to help a young person to reach their academic dream. She decided to donate $150 000 to the University of Southern Mississippi specifically for an African-American student to be able to fulfil their dreams. She couldn’t follow her dream of becoming a nurse but she wanted to make sure that someone else’s dream could come true. Years ago, this very same University did not allow African-Americans to attend there.
You can even see from the quotes by Oseola that she was an amazing woman of God with a wonderful view on life and how it should be lived.
Oseola’s gift showed that it’s not only rich people that can help people or make someone’s dream come true. Let her be an inspiration to you. You don’t even need to give large amounts of money, sometimes the smallest gift can help. There are many programs out there that help people and you could always add your small amount the rest of the people giving their small amounts and eventually it makes a large amount.
You can even give of your time. Help an old person with something that they need done. Help a homeless person with a meal. There are so many ways you can give back…don’t close yourself off to the joy of being a blessing.
Below are a few programs that you may be interested in supporting. I don’t get anything for it but this is part of my way to help.
University of Southern Mississippi Foundation (USM)
Hand of Hope by Joyce Meyer Ministries
Global Giving has a few small charities that you can choose from.
What do you do to give back?
(Most of the info in this post came from Learning to Give. Picture used in Pinterest Graphic is from Hattiesburg American)
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