Give what you can: George Lewin
ONE of the North Coast’s most generous philanthropists has gone public about his charitable activities in an effort to inspire others to give.
Mullumbimby resident George Lewin, the inventor of the Triton workbench, has confessed to donating almost $50,000 to the green group, Rainforest Rescue.
“Nobody is expecting you to give away the sort of money I do,” he said.
“But everyone can do their bit for the community.”
Thanks in part to his contributions, Rainforest Rescue has been able to plant 120,000 trees on the North Coast.
This includes 6000 at the Crystal Castle.
The group has also bought close to 20ha of rainforest in the Queensland’s Daintree – saving it from development.
Mr Lewin said people were often afraid to give away their money, because they feared they would need it for a rainy day.
“Just give whatever you feel comfortable with, whether that is $50 or 50¢,” he said.
The former ABC journalist said he was a cash-strapped amateur inventor for years.
But in 1976 he appeared on the ABC’s New Inventors program with his work bench and found a backer.
Mr Lewin concedes he has ‘pots of money’ and is in a position to give it.
He supports a number of North Coast charities.
“It’s just what I do now I’m retired – give away my money,” the 60-year-old said.
“I couldn’t have taken up golf, it would have bored me stupid.”
But the self-made millionaire said that giving to others was more rewarding than being wealthy.
Mr Lewin said his father, a Jewish World War II refugee who struggled financially, always gave generously.
He said his parents instilled in him the importance of giving.
“Even with total strangers,” he said. “Even when it is your last crumb.”