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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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