Scammer or Not? And Does It Matter?

The gentleman is a conundrum. He’s friendly, and he speaks with perfect grammar although his pronunciation is a bit hard to understand.

Lisa, Tommy, their friend George, Richard and I are chatting in Lisa’s front yard when he approaches us. He has a very official-looking badge with a picture, and tells us he’s selling candles for $20. The proceeds go to programming for people with disabilities.

Sounds reasonable enough, what with cutbacks happening. But no, in answer to Lisa’s question, there is no website. He doesn’t have business cards or brochures either. The only way to give is now, but he’ll take cash, VISA or a check.

I’m in. I ask Lisa if she wants to go 50:50 on the candles. No, thank you.

George steps up to the plate, and we share the cost. But none of us want the candles, and that’s fine.

Then Tommy goes into the house and comes out with a five-dollar bill, his own money. He spells his last name and gives his address to the canvasser, and receives an official receipt.

“You’re helping people go to school,” I tell him.

Scam or not? I may never know, because I don’t plan to check it out. But this I do know: no one scammed Tommy.

It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35), and Tommy, generous little boy that he is, once again experienced the joy of giving last night.


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