Listen to his
story long enough, told in his weary rasp, and Mutombo might sound like a
prophet of doom, a Hoarse Man of the Apocalypse. But he's the opposite, a
harbinger of hope. In professional sports, putting your money where your mouth
is usually means getting gold teeth, but Mutombo has received hundreds of
thousands of dollars from Patrick Ewing, Juwan Howard, Tracy McGrady, Alonzo
Mourning, among many others. "Even Yao," he says, "who comes from a
country of a billion people, is helping mine."
Those of us who
don't make millions can help too. Mutombo prays that 100,000 people will call
1-877-FUND-DMF and pledge at least $10 a month for one year to cover the
hospital's operating expenses. In return, those people will get something
priceless--the sense "that you're making a difference," says Mutombo.
"You can feel that joy."
It isn't enough to
be heartbroken for 35 million orphans. As Gandhi said, "Be the change you
want to see in the world."
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