Meet Fellow Supporters

We are thankful for those who have made an estate gift to the International Rescue Committee. Here are their stories.

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Volunteer Amplifies His Support Through Tax-Wise Giving

Dennis O’Connor has been supporting the International Rescue Committee for more than 40 years. When he and his wife moved to Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2012, he was surprised to discover a local IRC resettlement office there. Dennis began volunteering almost immediately.

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Donor Spotlight: Howard

“The IRC has been helping people resettle and rebuild since the 1930s and will continue to help refugees recover from crisis and disaster long after we are gone.”

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Donor Spotlight: Janet Alexander

I vowed that when we got home from Greece, we'd do something. I started doing more research on the IRC and visited my local resettlement office, where I got to see the many ways the IRC assists new U.S. refugee arrivals. Financially, my husband and I have lived a frugal life and have saved over the years. We live in California and own our home there. We realized that we had some things we could do financially both in terms of contributing now from income and in the future with our real estate assets.

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Inspired by Einstein: Giving Through Retirement Assets

Albert Einstein was the spark that ignited Mara Braverman's passion for the work of the International Rescue Committee. In the early 1990s, Mara learned about the IRC's founding by Einstein in 1933 to help refugees displaced by Hitler. She had never heard of the IRC before, but was intrigued by its rich history and prestigious founder. She has been a dedicated donor ever since.

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Michael and Carol Taylor: Welcoming Refugees With Goodwill and Generosity

The Taylors' work with refugees began during the Bosnian Civil War when they felt drawn to help refugees who were being resettled in the United States. Partnering with local organizations in Pittsburgh, Michael and Carol began sponsoring refugees, providing financial assistance as well as coordinating education, employment and housing opportunities. "Our goal was to help them become settled, independent and successful within their cultural values," explains Carol. Carol still stays in touch with many refugees, who she now considers friends.

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An Investment With Priceless Rewards

Author of several architectural history books and editor of a journal, Dora Wiebenson found herself looking for ways she could make a difference as she neared retirement. "I really wanted to participate as much as possible, and contribute as much as I could, toward causes the government should be addressing but wasn't," Dora explains. One of the first organizations she discovered was the International Rescue Committee.

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An Inspiring Legacy for Refugee Youth

Elizabeth Rassmussen loved children and tutored students. She was a loyal supporter of the IRC—grateful that the IRC had rescued a dear friend from France during World War II—and she often sent the IRC charming notes with photos of her beaming students. In one note, Elizabeth remarked of a student: "I think I have learned more from him than he has from me.... I won't mind leaving this world but one of my regrets is that I won't see him grow up and succeed in his chosen profession."

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Erika Stone: WWII Refugee Establishes CGAs With the IRC

As a refugee from Nazi Germany, I care deeply about the plight of refugees and support the International Rescue Committee's life-saving work. So, when a close friend of mine established a charitable gift annuity with one of her favorite charities 10 years ago and encouraged me to do the same, I immediately thought of the IRC. In fact, my father told me that the IRC aided our family when we arrived in the United States.

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Eve Tai Expresses Gratitude for the Life She's Been Given

I've named IRC in my estate because they are taking direct action to alleviate suffering in areas where it is easy to lose hope in humanity. My parents grew up in China during World War II and fled both a civil war and the Japanese occupation. As a young man, my father lived in cardboard shacks as a refugee in Hong Kong. Even though I don't know the people whose images I see today on news reports about wars and conflicts, they are not anonymous to me. I know they are somebody's loved one.

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A Charitable Gift Annuity With the IRC Is a Win-Win

Though of retirement age, Tom Powell, is not eager to retire but he's planning carefully all the same. A professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan, Powell has three charitable gift annuities with the IRC, which he considers a "win-win." "It seemed like a good way to make a donation as well as stabilize my retirement package," he says.

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Winston Lord: An Enduring Legacy for Refugees

As far as the eye can see, there will be a need for the International Rescue Committee. Sadly, the prospects are that repression and violence will continue to drive millions from their homes around the world. Recognizing this, my wife Bette and I support the IRC every year, and have been moved to include the IRC in our estate plans. We want to ensure that flexible funds are always available to fuel a swift response to whatever refugee crises ensue beyond our lifetime.

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