Pam and Frank Kaji are what we call "regulars." Part of the LCFS family, we look forward to seeing them every year at the Harvest Festival with their group of friends from First St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago. In fact, Pam and Frank have attended LCFS' fall fundraiser twenty-one times since 1995.
"It's a great way for us to enjoy an evening out that connects our faith with our values, one of which is taking care of children," said Pam. "It's also a great opportunity to share our good fortune, connect with like-minded people who care about others, and fellowship with close friends."
Recently, Pam turned 70 ½ and handed LCFS a check from her IRA at the Harvest Festival.
"We aren't wealthy people by any means, but charitable giving is important to us," Pam said. "I used to support LCFS primarily through fundraiser event tickets and auction items. Now that I am of age, I have to take distributions from my IRA. I really like being able to give this way because it makes you sit down and plan your giving."
During the planning process, Pam noticed a pattern to their giving.
"It's pretty simple. In our case, we support organizations related to the Lutheran Church and charities where our friends are involved," Pam said. "We began
supporting LCFS because it checked both boxes. We were introduced to LCFS by two members of our church who were also close friends. We also saw the mission in action when one of my friends adopted her two children through the agency."
Pam and Frank are blessed to share and happy to be in a position to support the people and organizations they care about.
"Giving through my IRA was simple," Pam recalled. "After consulting with Frank, we called my financial manager and told him that we wanted to use my required minimum distribution to support the causes we care about. He gave me forms to fill out for each charity. Once I filled out the forms, they prepared the checks and sent them to me to mail out."
Pam said she thinks the best way to make a difference is to try to be a good example.
"I am grateful to my grandmother who made sure that my two siblings and I went to Sunday School every Sunday even though they didn't have a car," Pam said. "I may not have been churched at all without her influence. When Frank and I got married 32 years ago, I shared my faith with him. My grandmother was a good example, and we strive to follow in her footsteps."
If you are 70 ½ years old or are approaching it and would like to
learn more about how to use your IRA to save on taxes while making a gift
to LCFS CLICK HERE or contact Marylyn Rodgers at (708)
488-5557 or Marylyn_Rodgers@lcfs.org.