You just never know…

Last year, the Franciscan Renewal Center received a very large gift from the estate of a man that we did not know anything about. It was a question that would rise to the surface every so often,
but with all that was underway, it was easy to set aside.

Then I discovered an email address that was linked to this gift last year. I sent off an email to another unknown person with a hope of some sort of “why” behind this most generous gift to us. In my mind, there had to be a reason that this place was special to him.

Weeks went by and then I received a phone call from a gentleman named Russ, who was attached to the email. Russ had befriended our donor years ago and what a story behind it all. It seems our donor had been a recluse who made very few friends and had little use for most people. He was not a wealthy man — he simply did not spend any money on himself or anyone. He had a very sad childhood and had little love in his life until he met his wife, who made up for all that he did not have as a child.

All was good until she died twenty years ago and our donor became consumed in his loss. Someone suggested that he contact the Franciscan Renewal Center to help him with his overwhelming grief. He came here and met with a friar who helped him move forward with the life that was left for him.

So, here’s the “why” behind our donor leaving such a large gift to us: this man repeatedly told Russ that he really liked the Franciscan Renewal Center because no one ever tried to get him to become a Catholic or clean up or dress nicer before he came for his counseling. Everyone that he encountered here was kind to him and welcoming and he never forgot that. I know for myself, I smile thinking that our donor must be very proud, as he watches from above. His gift ensures that the help that he received back in 1997 continues today so that others consumed with their respective grief can also see that love never really ends…and being kind is the start of it all.

— Sarah Privée, Donor Relations OfficerFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

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