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Category:  Inspirational

Related Links:  | Inspirational | Attitude | Courage | Goals | Happiness | Self-Esteem |

Changing the World

By Steve Goodier

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it "was too crowded."

"I can't go to Sunday School," Hattie May Wiatt sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Dr. Russell H. Conwell, the church's pastor, took her by the hand and found a place for her in the Sunday School class.

Some two years later, little Hattie May lay dead in one of the poverty-stricken tenement buildings near the church. Her parents called for church's pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. Hattie May's mother gave the pastor a tiny purse her daughter had found in a trash can and kept under her pillow. The purse contained 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting. The note read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school."

For two years she had saved pennies. Dr. Conwell took the purse and coins into the pulpit and told of one little girl's dream to build a larger church.

A newspaper learned of the story and published it. Conwell told it and retold it. Eventually, inspired by Mattie May's sacrifice, an area resident offered him land at a reduced price. Church members gave sacrificially and $250,000 was eventually raised for a new church building, a large sum of money more than 100 years ago. Hattie May's dream was coming true.

Temple Baptist Church in Philadelphia eventually grew to a large church with a seating capacity of 3,300. Dr. Conwell also founded Temple University in 1884 (first called Temple College), upon which campus the church is still located. He and the church then built The Samaritan Hospital (now University Hospital) -- to provide quality medical care for those who lived in the neighborhood, such as Hattie May Wiatt.

Joel Barker accurately says, "Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world."

Hattie May had a vision and she acted. She worked hard to save 57 cents. A church had a vision and acted. Through hard work and sacrifice, they made almost impossible dreams come true.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead sums it up like this: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Steve Goodier is a professional speaker, consultant and author of numerous books. Visit his site for more information, or to sign up for his FREE newsletter of Life, Love and Laughter at  


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Category:  Inspirational

Related Links:  | Inspirational | Attitude | Courage | Goals | Happiness | Self-Esteem |

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