During her lifetime, Elizabeth Rasmussen was a devoted humanitarian, and now her generous spirit lives on through a meaningful gift from her estate.
With money her mother had scrimped and saved, Elizabeth broke the factory town mold, trained as a secretary, and went on to enjoy a successful career in business, but her real passion was helping others succeed.
She was a fun-loving, colorful character, though her acts of kindness were performed without fanfare. Her friend Joan Feld recalls, "We would go to an Afghan or French restaurant, and I would learn that Elizabeth got these folks started."
Elizabeth 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."
So it was no surprise to Joan, a trustee of Elizabeth's estate, that Elizabeth left a substantial gift to the IRC for education.
The Elizabeth Rasmussen Youth Fund will provide critical resources to help young refugee students build new lives in the U.S. through education. Specifically, the Fund will help children perfect English and math skills, be tutored for academic success, integrate into their new schools, and eventually apply to college. Refugee students will also benefit from hearing Elizabeth's inspiring story—a woman who rose from humble beginnings to become a role model of volunteerism and philanthropy.