How Foodbank Helped Changed Tony Robbins Life

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July 13, 2017

As a young boy growing up in extreme poverty, a knock on the door one thanksgiving with no food on the table changed the course of Tony’s life. The parcel that put food on his family’s table taught him the power of a stranger’s concern, and set off a ripple effect that is now seen in thousands of people’s lives today.

As a recent Foodbank charity partner, Tony Robbins has helped bring awareness to the issue of hunger and food insecurity in Australia. While Australia is a lucky country there are over 2 million Australia’s struggling with hunger and nearly half of them are children. 

At the age of 57, Tony is now a New York Times bestselling author, life coach and entrepreneur but this all started from the support of Foodbank one Thanksgiving. Here is more of Tony’s story…

“I was a kid, and my alcoholic parents were fighting. My father, a metal tools salesman, lacked confidence in his ability to be a good provider, and my mom enjoyed making it clear that he wasn’t. It was Thanksgiving, and we had no dinner.

I remember that there was a knock at the door, and I answered to find a tall man holding a box of food, an uncooked turkey in a roasting pan at his feet. I had no idea where it came from, but I was elated. But all my dad saw was a handout. ‘We don’t take charity,’ he barked, and went to shut the door.

But the man stuck out his foot. ‘Someone wants you to have this,’ he said. ‘Don’t let your ego get in the way of taking care of your family.’ My father took the meal and slammed the door without thanking him. I cooked the turkey, and that night we ate like kings. My father left us a few days later.

That experience taught me the power of a stranger’s concern, and it set off a ripple effect. When I was 17, I asked my local church for the names of two families in need. I had saved enough money from my janitorial job to buy groceries and deliver them anonymously. The next year, I fed four families. Then eight. As my career grew, so did my ability to provide. Now, I donate 20 meals for every person who attends one of my speaking events via a local food bank. I know the joy of giving as both the recipient and the provider.

You don’t have to be rich to buy someone a meal, to offer them comfort and sustenance. With $5 and a little creativity, you can fill a child’s belly and help a family feel human again. That Thanksgiving delivery changed my future, and turned the worst time of my life—my dad leaving— into the best time, because it taught me who I didn’t want to become… and who I did.”

(Interview with Tony and Woman’s Day | 2015)

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