There are still many people in the world who are willing to give their money to the poor and the needy. These people just don’t care how much money they spend as long as they know they’re helping others, and the feeling alone of having made someone smile is enough for them.
Take former Hollywood executive Scott Neeson as an example, he gave up his six-figure salary and sold all of his possessions to start a children’s nonprofit in Cambodia.
Fifty-three-year-old Scott Neeson once ran Century Fox International and made lots of money, expensive cars, and an overpriced house. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have that now. He lost his car, he lost his home, yet he couldn’t be happier. You know why? Because he’s willing to give up everything to help these children. A true hero.
Neeson went to Cambodia’s Stung Meanchey in December 2003. The Stung Meanchey is a garbage dump that doubles as a home for some of the country’s most underprivileged children. Many tourists pass through it on their way to visit the Killing Fields Memorial at Choeung Ek, unaware of the day-in day-out events taking place.
“The moment I stepped in there, it was the single most impactful moment of my life. The smell is almost visible, almost tactile. There were kids everywhere, in some cases, being left there by parents who didn’t want them. They’d be going through the rubbish, looking for recyclable, metals, plastic bottles, making maybe 25 cents a day,” Neeson said, describing the Cambodian slum in a biographical documentary.
Neeson organized the Cambodian Children’s Fund, an organization that operates four residential homes, school programs, vocational centers, daycares, and a bakery to feed the children.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, one of the first children Neeson helped was a 17-year-old girl named Houy.
“We felt sick and had no shoes. Our feet hurt,” Houy told the news outlet, recalling how she and her sister met Neeson. “We’d never seen a foreigner,” her sister, Heang, added. “He asked us, ‘Do you want to study?'”
Both Houy and Heang are now high-school graduates and can speak fluent English.
Neeson helped thousands of students go to school, land jobs, and even become nurses and doctors. He now lives in the offices of his Cambodian Children’s Fund. He achieved his dreams, and now he’s helping others to achieve theirs, a great inspiration, People magazine describes.
“Scott is a remarkable human being who puts his life on the line to help children in Cambodia who had no hope. “Now they have a future,” Dr. Jay Winsten, associate dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, told People.
Neeson still admits that he misses some of his Hollywood perks and prosperous life, but he made a promise to himself to help these children, a pledge he never would break.
“I miss a lot about Hollywood. I miss Sundays playing paddle tennis on the beach with friends and taking the boat out to the islands. Sundays here, I’m down at the garbage dump. But I’m really happy,” Neeson told the Christian Science Monitor.