Women browse through a variety of booths during the Women’s Commission of Southwest Louisiana Fall Conference on Thursday in the Lake Charles Civic Center. (Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 2:24 PM
Each person has the power to make a difference in someone else’s life, Leigh Anne Tuohy, one of the subjects of the film “The Blind Side,” said at the Women’s Commission of Southwest Louisiana Fall Conference on Thursday.
Tuohy and husband Sean adopted Michael Oher when he was living as a homeless teenager in Memphis. Oher went on to become a star football player at the University of Mississippi and for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the NFL.
The Tuohys wrote a book, “In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving,” and established a charitable organization, the Making It Happen Foundation, which works to improve children’s lives.
“Just one person can make a difference,” Tuohy said. “I want women to realize that they need to step up and be a leader, be loud and proud about valuing people.”
Tuohy said people are meant to be givers and that everyone is capable of lending a helping hand — volunteering, mentoring, sharing a few dollars with “the person holding the sign.”
She said her relationship with Oher made her realize that love can go a long way.
“What inspires me is that all we did was invest time in a young man who had nothing, and all of a sudden he is a fine, contributing member of society,” she said.
“You sit there and look at people and you wonder, ‘If I invested time in them, what could they become?’ If someone as immensely valuable as Michael Oher almost falls through the cracks, can you imagine who gets left behind?
“You can be the whole world to someone, and you don’t even realize it.”