Thursday, December 7, 2017

Nuns - NOT an Outmoded LIfestyle

My eldest is a sister (technically, nuns are the ones in enclosures of some kind - cloistered convent, monastery). She is a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis - SSJ/TOSF. She is living in Chicago, teaching at Clare Woods Academy, and, usually, each year she performs in community theater (yes, she loves musical theater, but is NOT the Whoopi Goldberg-type of nun). She has written and talked about life as a sister, as have other religious women.

They are a diverse and accomplished group of women.

I'd like to suggest that you consider donating to an organization dedicated to providing the resources for aging sisters. When many left orders in the 60's and 70's, they left behind other women, now elderly, who need support in their senior years. Many sisters live into their 80's and 90's, and, as always, these senior citizens are in a cash crunch.

The organization I have in mind is SOAR, which support sisters, brothers, and priests who need financial assistance to keep them healthy and alive. Unlike other organizations with this mission, the money to SOAR goes to a charity that cuts out many layers of bureaucracy. You give to SOAR, they provide grants directly to the religious group.

There are many suggested ways to give, including:

  • Life insurance - did you know that if SOAR is a beneficiary, any premiums will be tax-deductible? You can get the deduction now, and benefit them when you die, without having to have that donation through probate.
  • Stocks and bonds - if you would otherwise have a capital gains tax, you can get the deduction by donating, and avoid any tax - both you and SOAR.
  • Matching Gifts - if you're stuck giving to United Way or other charity at work, you can designate SOAR as the recipient.
    • United Way: Write in Support Our Aging Religious, Inc. on your pledge card and include the SOAR! IRS identification number: 52-1485481

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