Both our donors and the beneficiaries of their generosity have stories to share.
Read their stories below:
James and Mary Bragg are donors with Selma roots. Born in the city that is the home to the Edmundite Missions, James and Mary have learned first-hand the crippling effects of poverty. They often will return to the Queen City for family reunions and to chat with old friends, and, of course, “drop in” on the Missions.
James was a member of the Bosco Boys Club, a neighborhood organization sponsored by the Edmundite Missions to give young men an opportunity each day to be constructive in their interactions with one another and their community. After graduating from High School, James left for Chicago. His first job was working for Panasonic fixing color televisions as they first came off the assembly line. He was so successful in technology that he was then asked if he had an interest in camera work with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). To the west coast, Jim and Mary went. He embarked on a successful career as a professional cameraman for major sporting events. When I visited with James and Mary recently, I was honored to see and hold three Emmy Awards that Jim had won for his outstanding work. Jim showed me his many pictures with celebrities taken over the years, i.e. Burt Reynolds, Don DeLuise, and Little Richard.
James and Mary are now retired living in California. They understand the value and direction learned through programming sponsored by the Edmundite Missions.
Our first contact with Art McNeill was in early 2013 when he called to ask about our administrative overhead costs. As a faithful supporter for over 27 years, Art wanted to be sure that the vast majority of his gift he made would go directly to the Edmundite Missions. We shared with Art that our administrative expenses were just under 13% (a figure that is amongst the lowest in non-profits).
Following his military service, Art began an illustrious 30+-year career in D.C. with the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as the agency’s Director of International Programs. He was fluent in six languages.
In what was our last contact with Art, he had requested information on Charitable Gift Annuities. He reminded us that the Missions was also included in his estate planning. Sadly, he passed away on September 19, 2013.
His three children shared with us the following: “We will miss our dad, and so soon after his death we struggle with our sadness and grief. We are deeply comforted by his tremendous and unwavering faith in the resurrection and the Glory of God everlasting.”
Art was particular about who he supported. With the Missions being his charity of choice, it showed how much he cherished our work with the families and children in need of shelter and food.
Joe Zaccardo has been a dear friend of the Missions for over 30 + years and has gifted to those in need over 160 times. His dedication and personal interest in those that we serve exemplifies his generosity and sincerity.
Joe has also gifted a Charitable Gift Annuity to the Missions knowing that his favorite charity has continued support for many years to come. He is currently working on his estate plan and is including the Missions with a special gift.
A great number of our donors are not just financial supporters, but true friends in our efforts to help people strive to break the cycle of poverty. Joe, as others, will call staff weekly to “check in” and see how everyone is doing and asking if there is something extra that can be done to help.
Joe is a senior who is home-bound with mounting health issues. Yet he continues to care for everyone around him.
Lawrence has been a consistent supporter of the Edmundite Missions for many years. Two years ago Lawrence asked about Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA). He wanted to provide a lasting gift for those that suffer in agonizing poverty. His gift of a CGA met his philanthropic objective and provided him a generous tax deduction at a time when he was planning for his retirement. Our friendship with Lawrence has continued to grow. He calls us monthly and wants an update on the work that we do in Selma and the surrounding area. Thanks Lawrence, for your friendship, kindness, and partnership.
Melissa has been a faithful supporter of the Missions for many years. She strongly feels that education provides the means for an escape from the pitfalls of poverty. She has offered to help finance a college education for one of the young boys that we serve. Melissa has included the Edmundite Missions in her estate planning.
Brad is a relatively new donor to our ministry. He has gifted multiple Charitable Gift Annuities (CGA) in the past year. He is a partner in our ministry and at the same time understands the valued reasons for a CGA.
1. Supports his favorite charity-the Edmundite Missions
2. Provides him with a generous tax deduction
3. Allows him a steady flow of income for the rest of his life
Brad has also blessed the Edmundite Missions with a gift of his IRA (Individual Retirement Account), all in addition to his regular giving.
Brad has asked for additional information on a Retained Life Estate, where a donor would gift his home now and receive an immediate tax deduction and still live in the home for the remainder of his life. Thanks Brad for your support and your dedication to our mission. You are such a blessing.
Catherine was a consistent donor to the Edmundite Missions for a number of years. She sadly passed away two years ago. We were contacted by her estate attorney a few months after her passing. She had listed the Edmundite Missions in her will for the total value of her estate. What a blessing! Catherine’s legacy continues to shine each and every day.