One Sunday morning in 1995, the front page of my local newspaper carried the story of an 86-year-old African-American woman. She had spent her life taking care of ill family members and working as a laundress, and had decided to give away $150,000 of her life savings. OSEOLA MCCARTY wanted to give someone else an opportunity she had never had. I became the first recipient of the Oseola McCarty Scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her act was not a quest for fame. The gift was genuine good old-fashioned kindness that perfectly reflected the kind of person Miss Ola was....

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