Americana: Setting a High Standard of Giving

In a popular TV show of the '50s, The Millionaire, a vigilant philanthropist would single out deserving citizens and then stun them with a big check. Philanthropist Thomas Cannon, 53, is no multimillionaire, however. He is a black postal worker in Richmond earning $16,000 a year, who in the past five years has somehow managed to give away more than $33,000 of his own money. Most of it has gone, in $1,000 checks, to strangers whose misfortunes or good deeds he has read about. Some of his beneficiaries: a Colombian orphan who needed heart surgery; a couple who have been foster...

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