Have you ever gotten a gift that you will never forget? Something that changed the course of your life? Maybe it was something big – like a scholarship to the college of your choice, allowing you to pursue an education and a career that would serve you well throughout your working life. Maybe it was something smaller, like the guitar you got for Christmas when you were young, that ignited a love of music and music making that has provided joy and self-expression to you since you learned to strum your first chords. Maybe it was something intangible, like the words of encouragement you got from an Aunt who urged you to follow your dreams, take calculated risks and achieve something bigger than yourself.

Often it’s that one important gift from someone, coming along at just the right time, that shapes and molds us into the person we are today. Those moments of light are turning points – large or small – and can create an entirely new path for our lives.

The opposite can be true, too. If you hadn’t gotten that scholarship, fallen in love with music, heard those words that propelled you forward, the light would not have been there. Your life would not have been the same.

And perhaps, recognizing how important those gifts were in forming your life, you have always made it a point to  provide encouraging words, share life’s beautiful joys and open doors of opportunity for others. That commitment to share the gifts you have been given blesses your family – and also blesses the broader community.

When you become part of the Catholic Charities mission, through financial support, volunteer hours or a combination of both, you provide life changing moments of light for people who are truly walking in the darkness of poverty. Our commitment to each other – as part of God’s family – flows throughout each of our lives.

There are some values that are so important that we believe they should continue long after we are gone. The light you shine for others endures forever. One way to keep that light shining is to remember Catholic Charities in your estate plans. A simple bequest means that the work of today can continue far into the future. It’s a simple addition to your will, trust or other estate documents but the impact is far from simple.  Your gift can come to one of the thousands of men and women who will seek assistance from Catholic Charities years from now, and could very well be that memorable moment, that blessed gift, that changes the course of their lives.

If you would like more information about including Catholic Charities in your estate, reach out to Susan Walker, swalker@ccharities.com.

This is the fast that I choose:

releasing those bound unjustly,

untying the thongs of the yoke;

Setting free the oppressed,

breaking off every yoke?

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn……

Isaiah 58:6-8

By Susan Walker, Executive Director of Outreach and Engagement at Catholic Charities of Kansas City–St. Joseph

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