The Smiths from Trenton, New Jersey, won a $429 million Powerball jackpot last year.
During a press conference, after winning the lottery, the family of eight, of Pearlie Mae Smith and her seven adult children, said they would use their money to give back to the community.
Only a year after making that statement, they are now making good on their promise.
After dealing with student loans and bills, the family, who each received about $25 million in a lump sum, is using the remaining prize to fight poverty by setting up the Smith Family Foundation, NJ.com reports.
On June 10, the Smiths held a celebration to mark the opening of their organization.
“Living in an area plagued with poverty, dilapidated housing, and drugs, Pearlie made sure her children attended church and understood the importance of education in creating a better life – all while working as a paraprofessional for Trenton Public Schools,” the foundation’s website states.
“With God at the forefront of their mission, the family plans to combine their individual talents and experience to transform lives in their community through the Smith Family Foundation.”
The foundation’s aim, according to Harold Smith, the foundation’s program manager, is to bring about long-term change in people’s lives.
“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," Smith explained. "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."
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters