Jack C. McDowell a guru of community relations and a counselor to many young leaders. At nearly 82 years of age, he has set fundraising records, equipped youth as spiritual motivated leaders and equipped others with the resources and skills to help in communities.
McDowell writes about the importance of having a significant life with positive meaning and value beyond just individual success, in his book “There’s More To Life Thank Making A Living.”
In his book, McDowell encourages others to contribute their lives to helping others and showing compassion. McDowell shares insight to help others find a life of significance through finding their meaningful purpose.
He believes that in discovering your vision and aligning your life to fulfill it, it is important to do the following:
- Clearly define how your vision has value.
- Make sure your vision resonates with what you believe is God’s purpose for his world and helping others.
- Develop a plan or vision of what you want to achieve and define the vision by it’s value.
- Develop a practical plan or map to fulfill your vision
- Clearly define (for others) why your vision and plan are worthy of support from others.
- Evaluate the benefits for both the your mission and the community at large.
- Consider how others (you will potentially work with) will find meaning in helping the mission.
When helping others, McDowell stresses that it is important to make the vision foremost. Attention should be on the value of what is being done for others and not on the financial objectives. By putting value before means, you are inspiring a new level of commitment. As McDowell writes, “By creating a compelling, caring vision, we are able to achieve outcomes.”
McDowell shares his discovery that there is far more to life than just making a living. From the age of fourteen, he prayed a simple prayer each day, “Dear Father, help me to find a significant purpose for my life.” Despite the enormous problems he faced and the enormous responsibility of caring for his parents, he was guided to a future that would give him his life meaning.
As a young boy, Jack C. McDowell moved with his family from California, during the Great Depression, to a farm in northern Minnesota. He worked long hard hours on the Triple J Stock family farm. A few years after they moved on the farm, McDowell’s father fell ill and was hospitalized. The family incurred large medical expenses; resulting in the family farm being mortgaged to meet their rising expenses.
McDowell began plowing the fields, planting the crops, milking the cows, and cutting wood to sell, to save the family farm. Faced with many hard difficulties, he was led to leave the farm at the age of 25 years old. Knowing only the boundaries of his simple town, he was led to leave the little town and enter the big city of Dallas, Texas. He arrived with a car and $300. He rented a room in a boarding house for $8 a week and began to look for a job.
Many years on the farm and the success of helping to rise the money to pay off the mortgage on a 4-H building in his younger years, led to him getting a job as an assistant fundraiser. The knowledge he gained as assistant fundraiser, led him in coming years to him developing his own fundraising company. This helped lead him toward what he calls, ‘his significance in life’. Salvation Army’s divisional commander in New Orléans asked McDowell if he could conduct a campaign for the Arkansas location. He conducted the first campaign and it became the beginning of a life-long relationship with what he calls, “the greatest faith-based organization in the world.”
McDowell served as the Salvation Army’s management counsel for 38 years. Many have nicknamed him the guru of community relations and he has been said to have raised more money than any other person in the world for the Salvation Army. He has devoted his life to the organization’s financial needs. He continues his commitment to his faith and his life mission of empowering others for “good”.
In 2005, at the age of 74 years old, McDowell established and provided financial endowment for the opening of The Salvation Army’s School for Leadership Development. It was McDowell’s prayers that led him to his last mission for his life and it’s mission that will lead even beyond his lifetime. The school prepares and builds spiritually motivated leaders. He seeks to use his time and energy nurturing this school, of spiritual and community leaders, to be the “Army for God and for good.”
McDowell dedicated his life to helping others and making the world a better place. His book is teaching others how to reach their fullest potential and helping others to find more to life than just making a living. His life is a true example of making life meaningful and living victoriously!