The best kind of charity

The religious scholar Maimonides from 900 years ago (Wikipedia article) wrote about lots of things including the best kinds of charity.  He fingered a telltale:  what if the donor gives anonymously?   The anonymous gift of charity is the highest kind of charity, said this religious scholar.

Which brings me to the strong emotions that I felt as I read a flurry of recent news stories about a fellow in a rural part of Alabama who did not have very much money, but who (after his recent death, it comes out for the first time) had been dropping by a local pharmacy for some ten years and had been handing the pharmacist a $100 bill each month with instructions that the money should be applied toward prescriptions for people who could not afford their drug prescriptions.

One of his very strict instructions to the pharmacy was that nobody was to be told where the money came from.

And yes, after this generous person died, somebody spilled the beans about where this ten-year stream of anonymous $100 bills had come from.

You can click around on the Internet and you can learn about Hody Buford Childress, this person who probably could not really spare the $100 but still took the $100 bill to this pharmacy each month with these instructions for anonymous handling of the donation.

What an example for all of us!

9 Replies to “The best kind of charity”

  1. Back in the day I worked for a compounding pharmacist who owned the pharmacy. It would not surprise me if the pharmacist matched the donation and filled the prescriptions at cost to make the prescription go farther. And never mentioned it.

  2. Carl, this is one of the reasons I love your blog – it is not only the most practically helpful IP blog I have found, but I love that you branch out of “professional” mode occasionally and post interesting and inspiring material. Thanks so much for bringing our attention to this article and reminding us there is more to life than our jobs!

  3. Although anonymous charity is one of the best kinds, this particular case is an indictment of our failed healthcare system, not a feel-good story.

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