Last year, the Smith family in Trenton, New Jersey, won the $429 million Powerball lottery, and they plan to use all that money to help fight poverty.
Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven children meant what they said at a press conference last year when they promised to give that money back to their community.
“It was like affirmation from God because we each have dreams that we want to fulfill in this life, and do for our community and do for each other and for our families and we have been funded to do that,” Smith’s daughter Valerie Arthur said last year when the family won about $25 million apiece after taxes when they decided to take their winnings in a lump sum.
They used the money to pay off bills and student loans before they put it back into their community with the Smith Family Foundation.
“We want to fund programs that directly affect systems of poverty so we can help change the systems or change the dynamics that are causing people to be in poverty,” Harold Smith told NJ.com. “Rather than just helping them find food or give away food, we can make it so they now have the ability to obtain employment, get their proper education in order to be able to go out and get their own food.”
The foundation will work with the city in order to provide both long- and short-term grants for Trenton.