Posted by: joshjasper | August 5, 2010

If I had a million dollars

Have you ever heard the Bare Naked Ladies song “If I had a million dollars“?  It’s a great song. (

Like anyone, I think from time to time what I would do if I had a million dollars.  How I would spend that kind of money always seems to change, but I met someone yesterday that probably has the one of the greatest answers of all time. 

I bumped into Michelle Mihalakis about a month ago at Hy-Vee and introduced myself.  I had heard that she started a fairly new organization that served women in our community and I wanted to learn more about what they were doing.  She told me about the Manasseh House she started and I was immediately intrigued.  This organization provides low-income housing for single women and assists them in job placement, education, and other needs that may arise.  Before she could finish describing her program I was thinking about how our program could benefiit their clients. 

Yesterday I had the opportunity take Michelle up on the offer of a tour of the Manasseh House and it was an incredible experience to say the least.  The building is beautiful.  I couldn’t get over the effort that was made to make the “house” look so amazing.  They can house 19 women at any given time.  Because of the increasing demand, Michelle built another house a couple of blocks away from the Manasseh House which they are hoping to open next month.  The new facility will house an additional 18 women.  Unbelievably, the second space was even nice than the first.  It was evident that an enormous amount of time and money was invested into these facilities to ensure that the women living there are comfortable and feel good about where they live. 

And here’s the kicker: Michelle is for the most part spending her own money to make all of this happen!  The passion that she has for the people they serve is awe- inspiring.  The moment she shared that she was personally footing the bill for this organization I got to thinking about the incredible freedom she must have to not have layer upon layer of beaurocracy leaning on her, dictating how the services will and will not be delivered.  It was hard for me to comprehend such a reality.

“If I had a million dollars…..I’d be rich.”  Think of how “rich” someone like Michelle must feel.


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