Carry it Forward and Pass it On

I recently received two very moving communications. The first was a letter from one of our younger donors and the second was an email about one of our oldest.

Bea, who faithfully supported the RFC since she first learned of our existence in the early 1990’s, passed away earlier this month at the age of 91. Her son emailed us a summary of her life, portions of which I quote below:

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Making it All Worthwhile

We’re in the midst of making our fall grants. During my six-plus years as granting coordinator this was both a favorite and difficult time of the year. I enjoyed hearing from the families we support, especially since many of them include updates about both their situations and their children with their requests for funding. But it’s also difficult to read the stories of hardship and on going trauma to children and families.

"Well May the World Go"

We woke up this morning to the news that Pete Seeger had died.

My (Robert’s) first memory of Pete was seeing him and the rest of the Weavers at Carnegie Hall just before Christmas in 1955.   I was eight years old.  My parents, Abel and Anne Meeropol, who knew the Seegers, took me to visit them at their home in the Hudson River Valley of New York the following year.

The RFC Community Remembers June 19, 1953

This June 19th was the first anniversary of my grandparents’ executions I observed as the Executive Director of the RFC. While I’ve been here for other anniversaries, this was the first time supporters from across the country contacted me (instead of my father) to share their thoughts and memories of that day.

I was so moved by the many stories people sent me of either being in NYC on June 19, 1953 or of learning about my grandparents, some times decades later, from their own parents or other family members. I wanted to share some of their memories with you:

"Strange Fruit" and the Magic of Out-of-the-Blue Donations

As someone for whom fundraising is an important part of my job, one of the best and most mysterious occurrences is the seemingly out-of-the-blue donation. I always wish I could ask the donor what motivated them to contribute at this particular time or amount. Especially when there is no obvious trigger.

The RFC received one of these donations recently from a new donor, Jonathan. He wasn’t in our database or on our email list and we haven’t mailed any recent appeals, so I had no way of knowing what inspired his gift. I emailed him a thank you and figured that would be the end of the story. Instead, I received the following lovely email from him:

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