Last night, Sr. Rebecca and I worked on processing returns from our annual mailing.
We were trying to get thank-you cards (and receipts) out to the generous people who responded. Sr. Rebecca had a pile of checks in hand, and a basin of water on the floor. (Due to a minor injury, foot soaking was also in progress.)
This is what led to what you might call “laundering money.” At St. Anne’s, we’ve laundered money before…It’s happened that one of our gentlemen left his wallet in his blue jean pocket.
This billfold was not even close to empty, holding close to a couple hundred dollars. Unfortunately, the presence of the wallet had remained unknown until after our aide had finished washing the load of clothes.
Consequently, the “laundered money”had to be laid out in the back of our main office to dry.
Last evening, a situation reminiscent of this occurred when Sr. Rebecca shifted her paperwork and the checks she held tumbled into the basin of warm water!
She quickly grabbed them out, and I helped her hang out the ones that were really wet. This morning, on entering our living room, one could observe books laying on the floor and a little plastic rack with checks dangling from its clothespins.
After joking with Sr. Rebecca about “laundering money,” I decided to do a little investigation of my own. How did this phrase come into use?
My research, however, proved to be indecisive. There are multiple theories regarding the history of this phrase’s use. One theory is that mafia members would use laundry mats as the location of their shady financial undertakings.
Another theory is that “money laundering” is a process whereby money is converted into “clean money” and thus prevented from being traced back to the criminal source.
I have a hard time following all this as I know very little about criminal financial business. Please rest assured, the donations we receive at St. Anne’s are put to good use and are not involved in business like that alluded to above.
When searching for any scripture verses that might be relevant to this little episode, I found the following passage from Hebrews (13), which I wanted to share:
Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you.”
Thus we may say with confidence:
“The Lord is my helper,
[and] I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”