"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Sometime around 1913, a possibly illegal immigrant, a Romanian Jew, sought a new beginning in America. He changed his name and started a completely new life using a bogus birth certificate. By time of the Great Depression, he had managed to improve his lot in life and wanted to express his gratitude for what he had. He decided to do what he could for those in desperate need in late 1933. Using a nom de guerre, B. VirDot, he posted a letter in a Canton, OH, newspaper asking people who needed money for Christmas to send him a letter explaining their plight. The response was enormous. Virdot sent $5 to 150 families in the Canton area. Not only did B.Virdot remained anonymous, he promised that those who requested assistance would also remain unknown to the world.
Virdot's charitable leanings contributed a total of $750. What was this money in today's market place? In 1933 the average annual income was only $1,500. You could buy eggs one at a time for a nickel. You could purchase a house while earning only $25 a week. The way I look at it, B. Virdot gave away probably 40-50% of his total annual income at the time.
In 2009 the median income in America was $49,777. Click on the following graphic to get a better picture of the differences in income between then and now.
What I find fascinating is that this story will touch the hearts of more Americans than all the billions of dollars donated by major corporations to major charitable organizations. I could give a farthing for what the United Way or the International Red Cross receives in donations to support their bloated bureaucracies and greedy administrators. So many not-for-profits are nothing more than scams to push political agendas at the expense of others. And they are no more active than at this time of year.