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Planned Giving
Remembering This Memorial Day

Henry Carter Welles, a pharmacist in small town Waterloo, in upstate New York, knew what it was like to grieve.

Little is known about the man credited with the idea of Memorial Day, but one poignant fact sticks out: he was a husband and father of three. All his children died young.

Soon after the end of the Civil War, Welles suggested that a day be set aside to honor those who perished fighting for the Union and liberty.

The idea was taken up by the townspeople, and the first recorded Memorial Day took place in May 1866.

Now that day, transferred more than a century later to the last Monday in May, is more celebrated for the beginning of summer barbeques and picnic season than for its original purpose. Still the practice of decorating the graves of loved ones, both of fallen soldiers and others, continues.

Welles knew that the deceased deserved honors so that their quiet sacrifices would not be forgotten.

So it is with everyone in our own lives who have passed on. We all know in our hearts the quiet heroes who served others faithfully.

They include those Franciscan friars who touched our lives, whether in parishes, education or in dedication to the poor.

You can help create their own memorial. Planned Giving to the Franciscans will help friars continue into the future their loving care for the poor and others who struggle, work that is a living testament to the dignity of all, even those seemingly forgotten because of callous indifference.

Your Planned Giving can be your memorial. It can act as your legacy, ensuring that the more than two million who are assisted by the Franciscans throughout the U.S., as well as in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and missions in Jamaica, African and Peru, are provided with their basic needs for food and shelter. Our outreach programs continue to serve the poorest of the poor.

Planned Giving to the Franciscans allows you to make a charitable contribution as part of your overall financial and estate planning. You can do this in a variety of ways, including bequests, charitable trusts, life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Through these vehicles you can designate a part of your assets to the work of the friars. Think of it as your living memorial, working to serve God’s poor via the ministries of the Franciscans.

And you don’t have to be elderly or wealthy. Younger people, even those with limited means, can start right now building up planned giving assets that will grow in time, serving the needs of the poor for generations to come.

Think of this Memorial Day not just as the start of happy summer times but of a chance to remember those who most need our help through the enduring ministries of the friars.

To learn more about how you can help the Franciscan Friars help our poor and marginalized sisters and brothers with your legacy gift, contact Brian Smail, OFM, via email at bsmail@friars.us or by calling 646-473-0265, ext. 303.

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