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by Abigail Van Buren

Course of True Love Runs Right Through Ring Ruse

DEAR ABBY: For many years I was housekeeper and mistress to a wealthy individual. He has recently announced his engagement and I am no longer employed by him.

Because of our friendship, however, he has provided me with a sizable income and has put my husband and me in his will. My husband and I have decided we don't need all this money and would like to give most of it to charity.

Can you advise us where we can find information on charities, and how we can evaluate them? -- WONDERING IN FLORIDA

DEAR WONDERING: It is wise to check out any organization to which you are considering donating money. The National Charities Information Bureau has information that can be obtained by writing to Dept. 40, 19 Union Square West, New York, N.Y. 10003-3395.

Your local Better Business Bureau is also a good source of information, particularly if you are considering donating locally. The Council of Better Business Bureaus publishes an annual charity index that's available for a fee. Write to: 4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 800, Arlington, Va. 22203.