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People with a heart to serve others want to know that their gifts are invested wisely. At least I do. I don't want my alms squandered by the irresponsible and ungrateful. And since I'm often in a position to determine who will or will not receive assistance, I've attempted to establish criteria to judge the worthiness of potential recipients.

A truly worthy poor woman: a widow more than 65 years old, living alone in substandard housing; does not have a family or relatives to care for her; has no savings and cannot work; has an income inadequate for basic needs; is a woman of prayer and faith; never asks anyone for anything but only accepts with gratitude what people bring her; is not cranky.

A truly worthy poor young man: has completed school, unemployed but not living off his mother; diligently applies for jobs every day; accepts gratefully any kind of work for any kind of pay; does not smoke, drink, or use drugs; attends church regularly; will not manipulate for gain either for himself ...

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From Issue:Fall 1991: Outreach
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