Paying It Forward: Banks Give Free Homes to Wounded Vets

Julie Barcheers is on her way to becoming a first-time homeowner without having to buy a house. The 55-year-old Army veteran participates in a program by the Military Warriors Support Foundation that matches those wounded in service with houses donated by major banks. Barcheers recently received the keys to a three-bedroom house in Carriere, Miss. If she pays the annual property taxes and meets other criteria, the house will be hers in three years – free of any mortgage. “For …

A Dollmaker Brings Cheer to Children

After her husband passed away in 2007 following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, Reva Balogh searched for something to fill her time. Then, reaching into her own childhood, she found it. Balogh, 89, of Curtice, Ohio, is known these days as The Doll Lady. That’s because in the past six years, she’s made more than 1,600 dolls and donated them to charitable organizations, social service agencies, hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House, which distributes them to children. “I love …

How to Be a Charitable Cheapskate

It’s the kind of news story that makes national headlines every year or two: A person of seemingly modest means secretly amasses a small (or not so small) fortune while leading a frugal lifestyle, only to reveal that wealth by giving it all away to charity. The latest jaw-dropper came from 98-year-old Jack MacDonald of Washington state. He died in September and left a surprise fortune of $187.5 million to Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington School of …

5 Tips for Being a Charitable Cheapskate

Anybody who knows me personally or has read what I write realizes that while I make a sport out of pinching pennies, I don’t condone being a cheapskate when it comes to giving to charity or helping those in need.  And there are a lot of “charitable cheapskates” out there like me: When I surveyed 300+ proud, self-proclaimed cheapskates for my last book, I found that on average they donated more than twice as much to charity as the typical …