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Life-Changing Generosity: Mary-Hannah Smith

Updated: Jul 6, 2023




Mary Hannah Smith, a 25-year-old living in Pennsylvania, understands the significance of life-changing generosity. She is JUMPSTART’s youngest donor to give a five-figure gift.

Mary-Hannah was born in Alabama and moved north to Pennsylvania to play softball on scholarship at Lehigh University. After graduating in 2020 with a degree in supply chain management, she has recently shifted into an account manager position following the sales influence of her mother and stepfather. Her employer, Millipore Sigma, supplies research labs with the tools, services, and expertise to reimagine innovation for life science and cancer research.

Growing up, giving 10% of one’s savings had always been instilled in Mary-Hannah’s financial understanding. Her parents enrolled her in Dave Ramsey’s financial education for adolescents, where she implemented this giving with her allowances and lemonade-stand profits. Later, as an adult with a regular income, for every paycheck Mary-Hannah received, she put 10% into a separate account for giving. Once that 10% was in her giving account, Mary-Hannah no longer viewed it as hers. She continued this for two years as she looked for the right place to give the money where she felt she could visibly see that her donation would be used to impact others in a life-changing way.

With careful research, Mary-Hannah wanted to be sure her donation went somewhere that it would make a difference. She found peace knowing God would lead her to the right place to give.

Towards the end of last year, Mary-Hannah attended a JUMPSTART Luncheon with her mother. As she listened and learned more about JUMPSTART’s work, she was impressed with the ministry and felt it was the perfect place for her donation to be used in the transformational way she was hoping it would be. Visiting JUMPSTART’s Restoration Village confirmed for Mary-Hannah that she had made a good choice in her investment. She believed that the counter-cultural change at JUMPSTART was precisely the mission God intended her money to support.

She found joy in giving and was grateful to have found the right place to share. Her advice to her peers is that as you feel called to give, she recommends putting 10% into a different account and no longer viewing that money as yours. Budget well with the remainder of your income and believe that God will continue to provide as you continue to give.

We all make mistakes and extending a second opportunity to others is a win for us all when men and women have the opportunity to get their life back on track. Mary-Hannah hopes others, too, would find joy in giving and recognize the importance of second chances. She believes in the power of giving to break the cycle of recidivism and offer transformational opportunities to men and women hoping to change the trajectory of their lives.

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