McCarty spent most of her life washing and ironing
clothes for the well-to-do
of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Miss McCarty always
dreamed about becoming a nurse, but had to drop out of
school after the 6th grade to help support her mother,
grandmother and an aunt.
She continued to “take in laundry” until
arthritis in her hands forced her to retire from
washing and ironing in December 1994, at the age of
McCarty's lifelong work ethic and generous heart drew
global attention after it was announced in July of
1995 that she would will $150,000 of her life's
savings to the University of Southern Mississippi to
provide scholarships for deserving students in need of
financial assistance to continue their education.
had she obtained that kind of money?
She had lived frugally, saved carefully, and
In the beginning, she said, she charged $1.50
to $2 a bundle, but, with inflation, the price rose.
"When I started making $10 a bundle -- I don't
remember when ... sometime after the war -- I
commenced to save money," she recalled. "I
put it in savings. I never would take any of it out. I
just put it in. It just accumulated."
she had saved the $150,000 -- representing about 60
percent of her life's savings -- washing and ironing
other people's clothes for 75 years.
the age of 87, Miss McCarty decided that there was
something better to do with her savings than spend it
on herself. “I
thought it best to give it to some child to get an
education,” she said.
in Hattiesburg call her donation ‘the
GIFT’," Pulitzer Prize-winning New York
Times correspondent Rick Bragg wrote after
interviewing McCarty in August of 1995.
Miss McCarty received scores of awards and
other honors recognizing her unselfish spirit
including the Presidential Citizens Medal, the
nation's second highest civilian award, presented to
her by President Bill Clinton during a special White
House Ceremony. She also won the United Nation's
coveted Avicenna Medal for educational commitment.
was embarrassed by all the attention, but when asked
by reporters why she had done what she had done, she
borrowed some familiar words: “It’s
more blessed to give than to receive – I’ve tried
McCarty was quoting Acts 20:35 – “And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, 'It is more
blessed to give than to receive.'"
McCarty’s generosity reflects not only the WORDS of
Jesus, but also His LIFE and
His DEATH. Jesus
“gave Himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4) so
that we might have forgiveness and the hope of an
eternal inheritance in Heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5).
blessings are included in “The Gift” of salvation
that He will give to those who respond to Him in
To receive His Gift, one must believe
in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance
(Acts 17:30-31), confess
Him before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized
(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
of the indescribable generosity (grace) of God, THE
GIFT is available to you!
YOU accept it on His
A. Sargent, Minister
of Christ at Creekwood
Schillinger Rd. S.
Mobile, Alabama 36695
Information gleaned from he University of Southern Mississippi Website: http://www.usm.edu/pr/OOLAFUN.HTM
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