For many of us, the sight of distant suffering is discouraging. Though we want to help, we cannot, as the people affected are so far away and we lack the means to reach them. That is why it is so touching to watch Robert Herjavec — multimillionaire businessman and co-host of ABC’s Shark Tank— explain his decision to help out a family in need.
When 4-year-old Liam Brenes removed his prosthetic leg to go swimming in Crystal Cove National Park, he could not have possibly expected it would be stolen. Unfortunately that is precisely what happened. The family was desperate for the return of their son’s artificial limb. A friend of the family set up a GoFundMe to try and cover the costs of a replacement prosthetic, but the financially-struggling family found themselves sinking into despair.
Enter Herjavec. In an interview with Nancy Grace, Herjavec explains his motivations for helping out the Brenes family. “I turn on the news and I hear this story,” said Herjavec, “and I couldn’t believe it.” The injustice of Liam’s story compelled Herjavec to reach out to the TV station he was watching and through them, the Brenes family. Introducing himself as “the guy from Shark Tank,” Herjavec immediately offered to pay the entire cost of Liam’s replacement prosthetic.
But Herjavec’s generosity did not end there. “Not only did Robert from Shark Tank get the little boy a new leg,” said Nancy Grace, “just for a little icing on the cake, he’s sending him to Disneyland.” Herjavec was not content to simply bring Liam back into walking shape. Rather, his goal was to improve the youngster’s outlook on life in general. “I think, in life, we all have those moments,” explains Herjavec, “that determine who we become… I just felt this overwhelming need to help [and] try to bring some light into his life.”
Herjavec refuses to take full credit for this act, opting instead to praise the community that rallied behind the Brenes family after hearing their tale. And although he recognizes why many choose not to help others, he maintains “it’s too easy in life to not help. It’s too easy in life to not get involved.” Herjavec claims the feeling he got from helping Liam was all he needed to justify his generosity.
“It’s when we give that we do more for ourselves.”
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