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Donor Stories

“I Wish I’d Done This Sooner”

Dorothy from Wisconsin has a little more financial experience than most folks. Retired now, she spent her working life with an insurance company. The stock market and various other financial instruments were very familiar to her. She first used CDs to fund and supplement her retirement income. When the rates on CDs took a nosedive, she knew it was time to explore other options. Shortly thereafter, she received a letter from Sacred Heart Southern Missions explaining our gift annuity program. After some reflection time, she decided to fund her first gift annuity. “The rates are fantastic!” she exclaimed. “Plus it makes me feel good that I’m helping the church.

Annuities provide that two-fold benefit – a secure income stream with tax benefits for individuals and a gift portion that goes to support our work with the poor. Dorothy was also pleased that we could directly deposit her payments, which eased her concerns about paperwork and security. Her only regret? “I wish I’d done this sooner!”

Making a Gift of Significance to Sacred Heart Southern Missions

Joanne first began donating to us many years ago through the Sacred Heart Auto League. Her husband’s family is from Mississippi and, even though she has never been here, she feels a tie to the area. Over the years, the connection grew closer. Our many ministries serving the poor have also been a motivator for Joanne – “I enjoy reading the newsletters about the countless ways that help is given to the needy. I realize how blessed I am. I pray each day that God will care for the many who help and are helped.”

Joanne has found our charitable gift annuity program to be an important and meaningful investment in our work and in her own future. A gift annuity is an extraordinary way to make a gift, increase one’s income and slice one’s tax bill – all in one transaction!

Sacred Heart Southern Missions’ charitable gift annuity program was created as a service to our friends who have expressed a desire to make a gift of significance while still retaining income from the gift during their lives. Incredibly, Joanne has funded ten gift annuities with us! “I highly recommend gift annuities as a way of supporting Sacred Heart Southern Missions. It is a win-win program – I can help the missions and receive a payment check for the rest of my life.”

A charitable gift annuity provides:
Income for Life – at attractive payout rates;
Tax Deduction Savings – a large part of what you donate is a deductible charitable gift;
Tax-Free Payout – a significant portion of your payments is tax-free;
Personal Satisfaction – knowing that your gift will benefit Sacred Heart Southern Missions for years to come.

Gift annuity rates are determined by the age of the person or persons who receive the income payments.

Faithful Companions

It’s a long way from Minnesota to northern Mississippi, but for hearts filled with love and compassion, distance is an easy obstacle to overcome.

Back in 1957, Minnesotan Tom Segar received a letter in the mail from Father Gregory Bezy, the director of Sacred Heart Southern Missions at the time, asking for help. Tom responded to Father's request for help. Tom married Jan in 1963, and they continued their help. Little did Tom and Jan know that their support of the poor of northern Mississippi would last more than 60 years and still be going strong.

The Segars continue to share the blessings the Lord has given them with Sacred Heart Southern Missions because they know the need is so great. In fact, their knowledge is even first-hand. In 2006, they paid us a personal visit because they wanted to see who they were supporting. They left confident in the knowledge that not only were the needs great among the poor we serve, their sacrifices on our behalf were making a tremendous difference. Further encouraged by their visit, they have created three Patron Memorial Scholarships to support our Holy Family School. They did so in honor of Tom’s parents and his late sister.

Recently, Tom and Jan have taken advantage of a law that allowed them to make a gift directly through their IRA account. The benefit of making a gift in this way is that the IRA distribution does not count as taxable income. They wholeheartedly encourage others who are over the age of 70½ to consider supporting Sacred Heart Southern Missions in this way.

All of us at Sacred Heart Southern Missions have been blessed by the friendship of Tom and Jan Segar. We look forward to that friendship continuing on for many years to come.

A Pure Win-Win Gift Annuity

Marilyn has supported Sacred Heart Southern Missions for 15 years. When asked about her long relationship with us, she said, “It’s fine to share wealth with foreign missions, but we have a primary responsibility to take care of our own in this country. To whom else can they turn?”

Her mother reached 96 years of age, so Marilyn expects to be around for quite a while. When determining the best way to maximize her contributions, she decided to fund multiple gift annuities. “Charitable gift annuities are a pure win-win situation,” she said. “I get a stream of retirement income that won’t run out and my annuity supports a cause that I feel strongly about.”

Sacred Heart Southern Missions has been issuing gift annuities for more than 40 years. If you are 65 or older, you can fund an annuity with a minimum donation of $1,000. We will pay you a percentage of that funding amount every year for the rest of your life. The rate depends on your age but it never changes once the annuity is funded.

An Obvious Choice for His Giving Ways

At the tender age of nine, Edward Kane began working as a newspaper boy. Over the next 47 years he worked at the sheriff’s office, Union Railroad (16 hour days), and Prudential Insurance in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. He’s also a veteran of the Korean War.

Edward always believed in watching his pennies. Therefore, when he retired and became interested in philanthropy, charitable gift annuities were the obvious choice for him. “They are a good deal,” he says. “I live on the annuity payments and I like that the remainder goes to charity when I die.”

Edward has two charitable gift annuities with Sacred Heart Southern Missions. He takes his faith quite seriously. At one time he was a Eucharistic minister taking communion to 51 homebound Catholics a week. His attraction to the Sacred Heart was a natural springboard to supporting Sacred Heart Southern Missions.

Barbara H. Uses IRA to Assist Sacred Heart Southern Missions

Barbara H. has been a faithful supporter of Sacred Heart Southern Missions for 20 years. The Sacred Heart Auto League was what initially drew her to our mission but when asked what continues to attract her to Sacred Heart Southern Missions she replied, “I love the prayers that Fr. Jack says for me every day.”

Barbara worked as a Director of Social Services for a medical facility for many years and contributed to an IRA during that time. She is retired now and over the age of 70½, so she is withdrawing her required minimum distribution each year. However, she has decided that whatever remains of her IRA at her death shall be split evenly between two charities . . . one of which is Sacred Heart Southern Missions.

“My brother was badly injured while training to be a pilot in the United States Navy,” Barbara says. “I believe it was the Sacred Heart Novena that kept him alive. That is the reason that I wanted to leave half of whatever remains of my IRA to Sacred Heart Southern Missions.”

Love of Children Guides Dedicated Supporter

Mary Lou Thompson has been a faithful supporter of Sacred Heart Southern Missions for more than 20 years. Mary Lou has had a great love of children her entire life, and expressed that love in many ways, including devoting her professional career to teaching young people.

Part of what attracted her to Sacred Heart Southern Missions were the educational opportunities we provide to children through our Holy Family and Sacred Heart Schools. For Mary Lou, there is no greater gift to offer a child than that of a good education.

“Fr. Jack’s picture, along with his letters, have inspired me and I can see that the need is so great in the areas you serve,” Mary Lou says. “I have a very good feeling about Sacred Heart Southern Missions.”

When Mary Lou decided she wanted to make a more substantial gift to Sacred Heart Southern Missions than her financial circumstances would normally allow, a gift through a life insurance policy seemed the perfect solution. “My employer simply took a tiny amount of my check to pay for the premiums,” she said. “I made Sacred Heart Southern Missions the beneficiary of that policy.”

If you are like Mary Lou and would like to support our work with the poor beyond your regular gifts, please contact Chip Eagle in our Department of Gift Planning. Chip can help you discover an opportunity that might be perfect for your situation. Many of these opportunities can help you as well.

A Faithful Companion

Like many friends of Sacred Heart Southern Missions, years ago George M. Coode, Sr. heard about our work by getting a letter in the mail. He was touched by our outreach to the poor, as he has always had a soft spot in his heart for those in need. Practicing the beatitudes is an important part of George’s spiritual life, and he sacrifices so that the poor we serve at Sacred Heart can be fed and the homeless might find shelter.

Recently, George created a charitable gift annuity with Sacred Heart Southern Missions. It was his way of helping both the needy whom he loves so dearly and himself through the income he receives from the annuity. As an added benefit, George funded his gift annuity with appreciated stock, which allowed him to avoid some of the capital gains taxes he would have otherwise had to pay to Uncle Sam.

When asked if he would encourage others to support Sacred Heart Southern Missions, George responded, “Without a doubt; with a gift you can make an incredible difference in the lives of those in need. And a gift annuity is a terrific way to help yourself, as well.” Thank you, George, for your wonderful friendship!

The Heart of Our Donors

Russell B. was a faithful supporter of Sacred Heart Southern Missions from the early 1970s until his death in late 2011 at the age of 90. He survived two wives, with his marriages spanning 61 years but leaving him with no children.

Russell began his career as a radio repairman and ended as a systems analyst for the government. He lived modestly and owed nothing at the time of his death. He also had a desire to make a significant gift to charity. Working with a brother-in-law, who was an insurance salesman, he was able to accomplish his goal.

Sacred Heart Southern Missions was named one of the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy on Russell’s life. Shortly after his death we received a significant gift.

Some creative gift planning allowed Russell to maximize his giving and create quite a charitable legacy. Additionally, his gift enrolled him in our Faithful Companions of the Sacred Heart. Faithful Companions are especially remembered at Mass on the first Friday of each month and every day during the month of June, the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Their names are entered on our Faithful Companions of the Sacred Heart Scroll in the Sacred Heart Shrine. Members enjoy a lifetime enrollment in our Sacred Heart Auto League.

To learn more about life insurance gifts and/or the Faithful Companions of the Sacred Heart, please contact Chip Eagle, Planned Giving Manager, at 800.832.9079 or at ceagle@shsm.org.

Gift Annuities Benefit Supporters

John and Rose Yuill have been contributing to Sacred Heart Southern Missions since 1991 and recently funded a gift annuity. They initially got involved with Sacred Heart Southern Missions through our direct mail program. After Rose did some investigating she said, “I learned that the northern Mississippi parishes were among the poorest in the nation and the need was indeed great.”

When asked why they chose the gift annuity as their method of making a large gift, Rose said, “We had just done one with another charity when we received your letter promoting gift annuities. Then we got a call from one of your staff who simply thanked us for a recent gift we had made without asking for more money. That impressed me.”

For anyone considering a gift annuity, both of the Yuills had this to say, “Everybody benefits,
it seems like one hand washes the other.” John went on to say that he thought all non-profits should have a gift annuity program, for it is an excellent way to give.

If any of the ideas discussed here are of interest, contact the Planned Giving Office at 888.217.4829.

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