By Susan Walker

Each of us has certain qualities that make us uniquely who we are – some aspect of our personality that comes to mind immediately at the mention of our name. For Carole Bickimer, that quality was service to others. 

By all accounts, Carole embraced everyone she met with grace and compassion. She was a founding member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, and a constant volunteer with the parish and service agencies like Catholic Charities and Seton Center. Her five children were frequently involved in her volunteer efforts, and learned the value of caring for our vulnerable brothers and sisters.

Often, life-long commitments like this turn into bequests. Carole believed so much in helping others that she wanted that support to continue even after she was no longer able to serve. As such, she chose to honor Catholic Charities with a gift in her estate.

After Carole passed away last year, her children worked closely with Catholic Charities to create a unique and fitting use for the bequest to honor their mother’s legacy.  Their choice was to use the funds to purchase vehicles that would be used by Catholic Charities’ new food pantries. The idea of reaching into neighborhoods and helping people where they live fit well with Carole’s commitment to make life better for everyone. 

The first vehicle – a Ford Transit van – has been purchased and is already “out on the road”, taking food and staff from the temporary pantry site in Kansas City to libraries, senior living apartment complexes, and schools in the south Kansas City area. Future vehicles will reach even further into our 27 county service area. In this way, Catholic Charities is able to remove transportation barriers for families who don’t live near a bus line in the metropolitan area, or in a community in a surrounding county where distance would preclude coming to the pantry or one of our offices. 

We are so grateful for this legacy gift, and for the inspiration of Carole Bickimer’s life.

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