help a sister out

If you’re reading this you should already be reading 3 Quarks Daily on a regular basis. If you’re not, do yourself a favour and start. Whether you’ve been reading or not, Abbas has a request that I’d also like you to consider:

There is a very vivacious and intelligent young woman (she is 22) that my wife and I are friends with. She moved to New York City from a small town in the south to pursue her ambition to be a painter and illustrator. She had exhibited prodigious artistic talent from an early age, and after finding a job as a waitress and an apartment in the city, had no trouble gaining admission to an art program in a New York City college by showing her portfolio. She has been going to school full-time, and also working as a waitress full-time, and she has done tremendously well in school. […]
The last time my wife and I saw her, she was in tears because she had just received a letter from her college saying that her financial aid is being cut off because she made $1,000 too much in income to qualify. Now, it turns out that it would have been better for her all around if she had sat on her ass and collected welfare the whole year, since she would then be eligible for aid. As it is, she reported her income absolutely honestly, and now she cannot afford to attend school in the spring. She is from a modest family and they cannot help her.
I asked her how much her tuition is, and she cutely told me a rather exact amount: $1,533.85 (I have a good memory for numbers). I decided I would try to help her, but cannot do this by myself. My wife Margit and I have made a contribution of $200 to a fund to help her continue with college in spring. I ask you to give what you can to make up the difference.

A student working their way through higher education is a cause very near to my heart, not least because my parents generously funded, by gift and loan, my entire schooling. I had it easy, and since one cannot pay back generosity or family support in the way one repays a loan, I feel obliged to “pay it forward”. On top of that, the student in question is being penalized for honesty — oy. It’s a situation tailor-made to get me to put my hand in my pocket, and I hope it will jar a few bucks loose from your Christmas stashes as well, O my tens of readers.
As Abbas points out, he has enough readers that $5, or $1, or whatever you can spare, will be plenty. Small donations add up fast on the web; that’s one of its greatest strengths.
At the time of writing, the appeal was up to $540. Just five bucks per from another 200 readers and an honest and deserving student can stay in school. Be a mensch.
Update: Amount collected as of 12/13/05: $1,115. Nearly there!
Update:Amount collected as of 12/18/05: $1,412.85 So close!
Update:Target met as of 051219. If you contributed, the student in question has thanked you very prettily here, and some of her latest work can be seen in the same post. Well done all, especially Abbas.