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The Power of Half: One Family's Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back

by Kevin Salwen and Hannah Salwen

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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It all started when 14-year old Hannah Salwen, idealistic but troubled by a growing sense of injustice in the world, had a eureka moment when a homeless man in her neighborhood was juxtaposed against a glistening Mercedes coupe. "You know, Dad," she said, pointing, "If that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal."

This glaring disparity led the Salwen family of four, caught up like so many other Americans in this age of consumption and waste, to follow Hannah's urge to do something, to finally just do something. And so they embarked on an incredible journey together from which there would be no turning back. They decided to sell their Atlanta mansion, downsize to a house half its size, and give half of their profits to a worthy charity. At first it was an outlandish scheme. "What, are you crazy? No way!" Then it was a challenge. "We are TOTALLY doing this." Each week they met over dinner to discuss their plan. It would transport them across the globe and well out of their comfort zone. Along the way they would inspire so many others wrestling with the same questions: Do I give enough? How much is enough? How can I make an impact in the world? In the end the Salwens' journey would bring them closer as a family, as they discovered, together, that half could be so much more.

Warm, funny, deeply moving and wholly uplifting, The Power of Half is the story of how one family slammed the door on the status quo and threw away the key.

For their family project, the Salwen family is investing in the Hunger Project. For more information about that project and how you can create your own, visit www.thepowerofhalf.com.

$1 of each copy sold will be donated to Rebuilding Together, serving America's low-income home-owners and providing critical repairs at no charge to those with the greatest need. For more information, visit www.rebuildingtogether.com.


pub date: 2010-02-10 | hardcover | 9780547248066