26 July 2013

A Bright, Shining, Beautiful Example

Did you see the incredibly touching story about “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon? He is dying from terminal colon cancer and he is leaving his tens of millions of dollars in “Simpsons” royalties to charity. By the way, the “tens of millions” is what he earns annually from “The Simpsons.” 

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Simon talked about the main recipients for his giving, which include PETA, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and Save The Children. He also supports a food bank in LA that feeds 200 families vegan meals every day, and founded a canine sanctuary that trains dogs, rescued from kill shelters, as companions for the deaf.

 Once he was diagnosed, he started buying zoos and circuses so he could free the animals and witness some of them walking on grass for the first time. 

His Sam Simon Foundation will continue giving long after he’s gone, including continuing to run its mobile clinic, which offers free dog and cat surgeries once a week.

The nine-time Emmy winner, who says that he has about two good days a month now because of the side effects to his chemo treatment, still works half a day a week on “Anger Management.” 

When asked why he’s giving so much away (he noted that his relatives are all taken care of), he answered, “One thing is I get pleasure from it. I love it. I don’t feel like it’s an obligation.”  I read that over and over. Here is someone who is dying and instead of feeling sorry for himself, he is spending much of whatever time he has left helping other people because it makes him feel good.  While his monetary gifts are great, the message that giving feels good may be his lasting legacy.

In honor of Simon, today’s donation goes to Save The Children, the international non-profit that provides medical care around the world, as well as fights poverty, illiteracy and a host of other ills. In 2012, according to its website, Save The Children helped more than 78 million children worldwide.

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