The real-life Tuohy couple who inspired the box-office hit “The Blind Side” will release their new book, In a Heartbeat: Sharing the Power of Cheerful Giving, on Tuesday.
Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy, who adopted homeless teen Michael Oher who later became an NFL star, say that writing a check is good but giving one’s time and talents are more important.
“Michael’s life wouldn’t have been changed if we just wrote a check,” Leigh Anne Tuohy said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday. “He needed our time and our attention and that’s what kid’s need. There’s kids falling through the cracks of this society every, single day.”
There is a Michael Oher near everyone, she said.
The Tuohys, as seen in the movie “The Blind Side,” took in Oher when Leigh Anne saw him walking alone at night in a t-shirt in the cold. What started as a one-night charity case quickly blossomed into real family bonds that led the Tuohys to legally adopt Oher.
Oher’s biological mother is a drug addict and he is among her 13 children. He was shuffled from foster care to foster care and there was no expectation for him to pass high school. But under the guidance of the Tuohys, who are devout Christians and inspired by their faith to love Oher, the once futureless teen graduated from high school and college and was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens.
The Tuohys said on GMA that their cheerful giving attitude is inspired by the Bible.
“We feel that it is an easy process (cheerful giving),” said Sean Tuohy. “It comes from the Bible. It’s from Corinthians and it said for God only loves the cheerful giver. So there is a difference between giving and cheerful giving. And our feeling is, and this is what we say in the book, it doesn’t matter how big or small, if you are doing it with a happy heart you’ll do it again. And once you realize how fun it is you will continually do it.”
“So if you are not a cheerful giver God says he doesn’t want it so why do it anyways,” Tuohy said.
“The Blind Side” movie has earned nearly $300 million worldwide and also helped Sandra Bullock, who plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, nab her first Oscar.