For Joe and Sue Manning, the call to Christian stewardship is one shared by their entire family. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and for almost all of those years they have been parishioners of St. John Vianney Parish in Mentor. “We would not want to be anywhere else.” Sue remarks.
Joe and Sue raised their 5 children in the parish, and all of their children attended All Saints School and Lake Catholic High School. While they saw the value of Catholic education during the time their children were students, the benefit did not stop at graduation.
As their children grew up, Joe and Sue noticed how their faith formation in the parish and in Catholic school continued to show itself. Not only had they modeled as parents what it means to share their blessings with others, but their children in turn inspired them through their own service-learning experiences. As they shared their experiences with Joe and Sue, it shaped how they saw the world and what God was calling them to in response. “It opened our eyes to what we have and the small ways we can help” Sue reflected.
Joe and Sue have always felt called to share their blessings with others, particularly through their support of the Diocese of Cleveland and Catholic education. Still, they wanted to find a way to continue their support while also passing along their legacy of stewardship to future generations in their family.
To accomplish this, Joe and Sue established the Manning Family Charitable Donor Advised Fund. By creating a Donor Advised Fund with the Catholic Community Foundation, they are able to support the causes they care most about through periodic grant recommendations. Underlying investments are also made in accordance with church teaching and the fees are very reasonable compared to other Donor Advised Fund programs.
Additionally, Joe and Sue have made a planned gift through a life insurance policy to add to the fund after they pass away. The fund will continue through the guidance of their children.
“We decided to create a Donor Advised Fund in this way for three reasons.” Joe commented. “First, as an attorney who advises clients financially, I see the good that can be done with these funds. There is the ability to stretch each dollar, and the potential for a tax benefit. Second, a Donor Advised Fund gives us the freedom to select which charities are of most interest to us. Third, our children have grown up and are able to make a living for themselves. We wanted to provide a benefit to both them and the causes we care about as a family after we die. They can then pass this legacy on to their children, continuing our family tradition of making time to help others.”
They are already impressed to see how their children live a life for others, even including their children in service work. Indeed, it is not uncommon for them to tell Joe and Sue that they are not only volunteering, but also bringing their children with them. “Our kids make us proud. They are good people and good parents.”
Joe added, “It is clear how Catholic Education was instrumental in their lives. They know the message of Jesus and they are putting it into real practice in their daily lives.”