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Home > MSAA Publications > The Motivator > The Motivator: Fall 2007 > Thoughts about Giving
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Thoughts about Giving

Inspired to Give

Written by Bruce Makous

Bruce Makous Photo
Bruce Makous

After only ten months on the job, I must say I am amazed by the generosity of our supporters. I'm sure it stems from the good things people feel they can accomplish with their gifts.

Alyssa Lewanowicz of Holland, Pennsylvania, for example, is an eleven-year-old girl whose great grandmother passed away due to complications from MS. With the help of her mother and grandmother, Alyssa held a bake sale for MSAA in memory of her great grandmother. This lovely event initiated by a young girl raised more than $1,000 to support MSAA's programs. We were pleased to be able to honor Alyssa at an event on September 28th at our national headquarters.

Another donor, Dr. Aida Chohayeb from Rockville, Maryland, is a retired dentist who understands the challenges that people living with MS face and sympathizes deeply with them. In order to help, she provides significant annual contributions for MSAA programs.

Also, we recently received a six-figure legacy commitment from a Washington State woman who is living with MS. She wants to provide funds through her estate that will support our equipment program. As a person who needs assistance herself in coping with the day-to-day challenges of moving safely around her home, she knows the value of the equipment we give to people with MS. Her significant gift will help us provide walkers, grab bars, wheelchairs, cooling vests, and other equipment to a greater number of people in need.

These are just a few examples of individuals inspired by the idea of accomplishing good things through giving. These and all of our donors have one thing in common -- they care deeply about people living with MS, and want to help them. They also talk proudly about how good it makes them feel to do their part for people with MS.

MSAA is fortunate to have many thousands of such supporters nationwide who have these same feelings.

President's Circle Reception Photo MSAA client Barbara Berkowitz and her husband Bernie are recognized as key supporters at the President's Circle reception in September.

President's Circle Reception at MSAA's National Headquarters

MSAA was pleased to hold a special reception for its supporters at its headquarters in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Attendees received tours of the building and witnessed first-hand many of the activities involved in MSAA's programs and services. President and CEO of MSAA Douglas Franklin and the MSAA Board of Directors had the opportunity to personally thank MSAA's donors and volunteers. MSAA's President's Circle program provides special appreciation for loyal and generous donors. More than 350 individuals from across the country currently receive recognition as President's Circle donors.

Alyssa Lewanowicz (photo below) is an eleven-year-old girl from Holland, Pennsylvania, whose great grandmother passed away due to complications from MS. "I asked my mom if we could help other people with MS because my nana died of it," said Alyssa at the MSAA President's Circle reception on September 28th. With Alyssa is her grandmother, Linda Somers, who helped Alyssa with the bake sale, along with Alyssa's mother Lynne Goldberg (not shown). Presenting Alyssa with a 2007 MSAA President's Award are Dorothea Pfohl of the Healthcare Advisory Council and Chairman of the Board Ross Maclean. "Now I know what pride feels like," added Alyssa after receiving the award.

Holding Your Own Fundraising Event for MS

Fundraising Event Photo

Many of our supporters inquire about putting together their own fundraising events and contributing the net proceeds to MSAA. This can be a rewarding way to honor someone you know who is living with MS or a loved one who may have passed away, while also helping people with MS.

MSAA will be glad to support you in your efforts. To learn more, go to support.mymsaa.org/volunteer on the website and click on the "Fundraising Events" box. Follow the other links to learn more about various types of events and to send us your event ideas. For more information, please contact Malcolm Friend at (800) 532-7667, extension 117, or email mfriend@mymsaa.org.

Year-End Charitable Planning

As this tax year ends, you should consider these two particularly interesting methods of supporting MSAA:

A gift annuity is an excellent way for donors to create a legacy fund with MSAA, while also receiving additional income. "I had been supporting MSAA through annual contributions, and decided I wanted to establish a legacy gift, too," said Herbert Weisz of Deerfield Beach, Florida. In April, Herb and his wife created a gift annuity with MSAA and will receive income from this gift throughout their lifetime.

Until December 31st, donors may contribute funds directly from an IRA to a charity without declaring the gift as income. If you do not need the entire amount of your required minimum IRA withdrawal, this is an excellent way to use some of it as a gift to MSAA.

If you have thoughts about giving, please feel free to contact Bruce Makous at (800) 532-7667, extension 148, or email bmakous@mymsaa.org.

– Bruce Makous, Vice President of Development

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Last Updated on Monday, 25 March 2013 10:53