Donation from a lawyer

The staff at a local United Way office realized that it had never received a donation from the town's most successful lawyer. The person in charge of1 contributions called him to persuade him to contribute. "Our research shows that out of a yearly income2 of at least $700,000, you give not a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give back to the community in some way?" The lawyer mulled this over3 for a moment and replied, "First, did your research also show that my mother is dying after a long illness, and has medical bills that are several times her annual income?" Embarrassed, the United Way representative mumbled4, "Um... No." "Or," the lawyer continued, "that my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair?" The mortified United Way representative began to stammer out5 an apology but was interrupted when the lawyer added, "Or that my sister's husband died in a traffic accident?" the lawyer's voice rising in indignation, "Leaving her penniless with three children?" The humiliated United Way representative, completely beaten, said simply, "I had no idea..." On a roll6, the lawyer cut him off7 once again, "So if I don't give any money to them, why should I give any to you?"




  1. In charge of = responsible for
  2. Yearly income = money earned in one year
  3. To mull something over = to think carefully about something for a long time
  4. To mumble = to say something unclearly and quietly so that it is difficult to hear
  5. To stammer = to speak or say something with a lot of pauses or repeated sounds
  6. To be on a roll = to be having a lot of success with what you are trying to do
  7. To cut someone off = to prevent someone from finishing what they are saying