LARCHMONT, N.Y. – Loren Finnell of Larchmont realized during his career that to help underprivileged people in poor countries, he would have to encourage the locals to help each other.
“Rather than us as Americans stepping in, I realized it’s much more preferable for local non-profits to work with their own people,” Finnell said. “It’s more effective to empower them.”
His newly published book, “Still a Country Boy, After Embracing the World,” is about his life experiences working in the worldwide non-profit development sector. He said he hopes the book will be educational, as well as enjoyable for others to read.
“I’ve gotten a good response from people of all ages. I’ve tried to make it informative and humorous and tell stories,” said Finnell.
After years working with global non-profit organizations, in 1987 Finnell founded The Resource Foundation in his basement to help gather resources and information that would help non-profits increase self-reliance and living standards in Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Finnell has received numerous awards for his work over the last 48 years, including the National Peace Corps Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Services in 2006 and three honors as an alumnus of Manchester College in 1997, 2002 and 2008. He has also been invited to be a fellow of the Skoll Foundation, an organization that recognizes social entrepreneurs who have helped better the world through programs and problem solving, and the Foreign Policy Association, the nation’s oldest international affairs organizations. Last year, Finnell was invited to become a member of the Clinton Global Initiative.
“My wife was pushing me to writing the book,” he said. “Just putting down on paper all of the experiences I’ve had with international development.”
The introduction to the book was written by Harris Wofford, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, co-founder of the Peace Corps, special assistant to President John F. Kennedy and adviser to Martin Luther King during the civil rights campaign in the 1960s.
Copies of the book are available through the Mayhaven Publishing and Amazon. Locally, Anderson’s Book Store carries the book and the author himself sells them as well. Finnell will be available for a book signing on July 25 at Sts. John and Paul Church at 3:30 p.m.