Despite all the bad news that the world often seems to focus on, good news and kindness abound if you take a moment to look for it. An astounding story out of France proves that philanthropy is alive and well, even in our world that can sometimes seem so bleak. In December 2020, a man who wishes to remain anonymous won €200MM in the lottery. He was living in the south of France at the time, but instead of spending his winnings on himself, he decided to do something to impact the environment and do something for the greater good.
“My dream has never been to acquire boats, castles or other sports cars, it is to be useful and to give meaning to this money, with maximum positive impact,” the man, only known as Guy, said in an open letter.
In fact, the whole reason that Guy played the lottery in the first place was to take a shot at winning a big jackpot so that he could create a foundation in order to support the environment.
The environment is a hot topic for many around the world, and experts say that the time to act on the environment’s behalf is now. According to Adnan Zai, an Advisor to Berkeley Capital, “Europeans have always been more environmentally conscious and thus more active in this arena than the U.S. When governments lead with an initiative, that typically is the signal for the populous to also follow suit. What concerns me is that we are not aligned with our European counterparts on the issue of saving the planet.”
The cause of working on behalf of the environment is so ingrained in Europe that it didn’t take a governmental mandate to ensure that when Guy won the lottery, he would use the winnings to preserve the environment. And frankly, what it will take is the work of selfless individuals like Guy to ensure that the environmental problems created by emissions and other manmade problems will be mitigated.
After winning the lottery, Guy created the Anyama endowment fund, which is named after a city in Africa off the Gold Coast where he used to live. His efforts, however, will benefit France. “So that’s what I’m doing today by creating Anyama, which acts for the benefit of the common good of all, with one watchword: protect the living.”
He also explained, “The Anyama endowment fund is the result of an imperious desire to act for nature and human beings that I have had for years. Above all, it is the expression of a conviction that I want to share with as many people as possible: giving makes people happy, and constitutes a tremendous lever for transforming indignation into concrete and useful actions.”
If the environment is to be spared, all hands-on deck will need to work towards conservation. Zai remarked, “We only have one planet, and we need to work harder to protect it. By joining forces with people throughout the world, and focusing on programs for conservation and environmental concerns, we can leave the world a better place for our children.”
Although governmental legislation might be slow-going, grassroots efforts like Anyama can go far in building a better environment for the future. And the good news is that it can be done one philanthropic lottery winner at a time!