Tag Archives: estate

I Once Was Lost

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

“Her name was Gracie… I love that song. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, I once was lost but now am found…”

Four years ago, Dr. James Dorman lost his wife Gracie after a prolonged battle with esophageal cancer.

A deeply devoted and adoring husband, the retired college professor nursed his wife through her 13-month battle with cancer, ultimately holding her in his arms as she passed away.

“She was literally given 3 months to live, but through the grace and power of a wonderful God, she never abandoned hope and she went from 3 months, to 4 months, to 5. We started to live our life one week at a time, one month at a time, but finally the inevitable did catch up with her.”

Following her death, Dr. Dorman says, “I was as lost as lost can be… The dear people at the Alton Salvation Army really took me in and made me one of their own, and gave me great comfort during a very dark time.”

The doctor recalled when Captain Randy Tooley and Salvation Army members invited him to The Salvation Army’s Men’s Camp at Camp Mihaska so that he might have a chance for fellowship and healing.

“We really don’t know how or when but when we’re at our darkest moment, our angel will show up,” James said, “Every man no matter what his age should spend a few days at Men’s Camp, because you don’t really realize the true spirit of The Salvation Army until you do. It was one of the most deeply spiritual experiences of my life, and I think I needed that.”

Thus began a lasting relationship with The Salvation Army, which motivated Dr. Dorman to make a planned gift with his estate that would benefit The Salvation Army’s work.

“Gracie’s spirit motivates me today, in terms of the gift I’ve given. Some people might have a hard time understanding why I would donate the equivalent of a year of my salary, which is not that much for St. Charles Community College professors – especially not retired ones, but I thought The Salvation Army was one of the groups that was so encouraging… It’s not that I’m leaving a legacy for me. It’s that I’m leaving a legacy for [Gracie’s] shining example.”

Dorman designated his gift to support The Salvation Army’s financial education programs to break the spirit of poverty, and also to scholarship funds for children and future officers of The Salvation Army.

“My wife loved sixth graders. She would have loved the idea of giving educational aid and scholarships. The Salvation Army is one of the best organizations that makes a real difference.” Of the financial education programs he says, “If you teach a person to fish, they can eat for the rest of their life. They’ll never again be living paycheck to paycheck. We all need hope.”

To learn more about how you can make a difference with your final gifts in life, visit http://tsamidland.giftlegacy.com/.

Plan Your Legacy with The Salvation Army

Pyramids rising in the desert… paintings on a cave wall… great works of art and literature – all reflect a common yearning in people to leave behind a legacy – to touch the lives of others, perhaps for many generations to come.

Most of us, given the opportunity, would like to feel that we have made a lasting contribution to a better world. We’d like to leave a legacy that says, “I was here. My life was important. I made a difference.”

Friends who include The Salvation Army in their estate plans enjoy the quiet satisfaction of helping continue all of our work – assisting those who are hungry or seeking shelter or fighting alcoholism or drug addictions. As you plan for both the present and the future, we would be honored if you would consider The Salvation Army as your partner. We pledge to do the most good with your generosity – for those you will help today and for the future generations you will help in years to come.

You have an opportunity to thoughtfully plan the distribution of all you have earned and accumulated from a lifetime of work. Through tax-advantaged gift planning, you can provide a more significant legacy of caring and compassion than you ever dreamed possible. This is your Legacy Gift.

A Salvation Army gift planning professional is always available to assist you, your financial adviser and legal counsel in exploring the options that best serve your family and your financial needs, while fulfilling your hopes for a better world. Your Legacy Gift may be unrestricted or designated for a particular purpose, service of program. Your gift also may be made in memory or in honor of special loved ones.

If you’re ready to begin planning your legacy, or if you have any questions at all, contact our Planned Giving Department at (314) 646-3000 today.

In thanksgiving…

By: Valerie Murray, Estate Coordinator, Midland Division

As the Estate Coordinator for the Midland Division, I spend most of my day among the dead; dealing with gifts to The Salvation Army from wills and trusts.  Some might think that this would be a depressing job, but actually, it is a life and faith affirming experience.

Several times a week, I receive a notice that The Salvation Army was remembered in a will or trust of a someone who recently died.  The first thing I do is to try to find more information about him or her: date of death, where they lived, and a copy of their will or trust.  In looking for this information, other information of a more personal nature often comes to the fore.

One woman remembered the Army “in thanksgiving for their kindness to my father and his buddies during World War I on the front lines in France.”  Another woman donated almost her entire (and fairly large) estate to The Salvation Army because her family never forgot that when her father returned from World War I, permanently disabled by poison gas, the Army helped him find a job and continued to be a constant in his life.  Without that help, would he have been able to marry and have a family?

A nephew stated that his uncle remembered the Army in his trust because as a GI in Patton’s army, the Army was right there with them in the mud, giving away (not selling, he emphasized) candy, donuts and other treats, and last but not least words of hope and encouragement.

 A young Viet Nam veteran, recently discharged in the mid 1970s, traveled across the United States one on his trek home, staying in Salvation Army shelters receiving a hot meal, and a good word at each.

 These are just a few stories that I have come across.  Even though my clients are dead world, their stories are life affirming.  They recount just a few of good works of The Salvation Army worldwide.  So many more will never be known.  They make me wonder, have I done enough?

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