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Ever notice all those home storage buildings around the U.S. these days? We love our stuff and, even when we don’t have room for it, we can’t stand to part with it!  But every so often, you find somebody who has really learned the art of living simply.  Reporter Jim Melchiorre introduces us to a man who has no problem giving it all away.                

 
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SCRIPT:

(Locator: Media, Pennsylvania)

Eighty-two-year-old Harold Taussig wears blue jeans, a tee-shirt, carries a back pack---and rides a bicycle to work because he hasn’t owned a car since 1971.

Harold Taussig: “I gave my last car away to a hitch-hiker and I haven’t owned one since.”

Taussig does own a profitable travel business, and does the same with the profits as he did with the car.

Harold Taussig/Founder of Untours, Inc.: “I just said I’m not going to have any money in the bank, nothing in my name. So whatever is left at the end of the month, I get rid of it.”

(Phone operator says) “Hello, this is Untours. How may I help you?”

Harold Taussig started Untours 30 years ago for travelers who want to really know the people and cultures they visit by staying in private homes instead of tourist hotels.  True to his values, this former cattle rancher and college professor puts all profits into the Untours Foundation.

Harold Taussig: “We don’t give money away, we loan it.”

Philadelphia’s Home Care Associates is one company receiving Untours loans. Its business has doubled and its employees, many formerly on welfare, receive dividends as well as salary.

Harold Taussig: “My idea is to get capital to poor people, rather than charity.”

At First United Methodist Church in Media, Harold Taussig is like a walking Sunday school lesson.

The Rev. Maridel Whitmore/First United Methodist Church in Media: “Here’s a person doing what we preach, and I think he’s made all of us straighten up a little bit and look at ourselves.”

Harold Taussig: “I like to have people discuss the problem of poverty, world poverty, which I find so disastrous, and finding a new way to solve it.”

TAG:

Harold Taussig convinced his town of Media, Pennsylvania to become the first Fair Trade town in the United States, meaning that a certain percentage of retailers and institutions must sell and use fair trade products.

In 1999, his company won an award from Paul Newman and John F. Kennedy, Jr., for having the Most Generous Business in the U.S.

For more information, visit Untours and the Untours Foundation.

Also see: Unconventional businessman invests profits in others and UMC.org Profile: Hal Taussig