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 United Way & a Tricky Lawyer


By Rutagengwa Claude Shema

Regional Coordinator

Great Lakes Peace Initiative (GLPI)


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The local United Way office realized that it had never
received a donation from the town's richest man, a successful
lawyer with a yearly income of more than $600,000.  The volunteer
in charge of contributions called him to persuade him to
contribute. "We have found that everyone else in town has   given
us some contributions over the years, and I wanted to ask if you
would also like to make a charitable donation this year."  The
lawyer asked, "Did you know that my mother is dying after a long
illness, and is unable to pay her medical bills that are several
times her annual income?"  Embarrassed, the United Way
representative said, "No, I am sorry, I did not know that."  "And
did you know," asked the lawyer, "that my brother, a disabled
veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?"  The stricken
United Way representative stammered an apology that he did not
know.  "And did you know," the lawyer added, "that my   sister's
husband died in a traffic accident, leaving her penniless with
three children?!"  The humiliated United Way representative,
completely beaten, said simply, "I am very sorry, I had no idea." 
The lawyer said, "And I don't give a penny to any of them, so why
should I give anything to you?"


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