By James Ellenbogen
As someone who has donated to organizations like Jewish Family Service for as long as I can remember I have always been proud to support the good work they do. Each year I’m investing in the people and the programs that support the community I live in.
My history with JFS started long before me; Sam Samter, JFS’s first president, was my great uncle. In 2002 as a living descendant of Sam, I attended in his honor at JFS’s 85th Annual Meeting where past presidents were honored. My connection with JFS would continue to grow and in 2004 I followed in Sam’s footsteps and joined the JFS board, serving as secretary for two years. I would serve on the board from 2004 – 2012 and then again from 2014 – 2017.
It was during my second term when I decided that I wanted to make sure I was able to support JFS even after I was gone. I decided to include Jewish Family Service of Northeast Pennsylvania in my will.
I believe in the mission of JFS, I have seen firsthand the good work they do and I know they will use my gift wisely so that I can continue to help lives, long after mine has ended. I’ve always considered myself a philanthropist. Many of us often think of philanthropists as those who give millions of dollars to organizations, but anyone can be a philanthropist, regardless of status or net worth.
I encourage everyone to speak to either Sheila at JFS or talk to your lawyer or advisor about a bequest. Bequests can be cash, securities, property, a percentage of an estate or a beneficiary of an insurance policy. Bequests will help non-profits like JFS survive and grow well into the future.
Having JFS in my will makes sure that the money that I have donated over the many years will continue to be put to work well into the future. I’m thankful for the work that JFS does, and I’m thankful that I’ll be a part of their history forever.