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2008 Disasters Challenge Red Cross Resources
When to think about Tomorrow
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Creative Ideas for Estate Gifts
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Frank Rasmus: "It's Not About Me"

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Frank Rasmus: "It's Not About Me"

“My Aunt Mil loved to read and loved to travel,” Francis Rasmus recalls of his aunt, Mildred Kelley.  “She was a switchboard operator at the Navy Yard for years.  If we got hit with a big snowstorm, she’d walk two miles to Broad Street so she could take the subway to work.”  Her sense of duty shined through in other ways as well: “She was always giving blood,” Rasmus remembers.  Thus, when he decided to make a gift in her memory, the American Red Cross was a natural choice.  Francis funded his first charitable gift annuity (CGA) with the Red Cross in May 2007 and has since established three additional annuities with the Red Cross.

In addition to his Aunt Mil, he has honored two other loyal blood donors:  his Uncle Ed (Edward J. Sailer) and his cousin, Edde Sailer.  Edde also receives the income from one of the annuities.  “It’s a win-win,” Rasmus explains.  “My cousin can enjoy some of her inheritance now, and the Red Cross benefits in the future.” 

Rasmus is not your typical philanthropist.  A lifelong resident of Philadelphia, he worked in the insurance industry for 45 years as a medical claims examiner and supervisor.  He earned a moderate salary, but he saved diligently and invested wisely.  Now, he says, "Making a difference while you are alive is more rewarding than waiting until you are gone. I'm having the time of my life giving my money away." His favored method of giving is through CGAs.  Why does he like them so much?  Security, for one thing, “you can live to 103, and you know you’re not going to outlive your assets,” Rasmus says. 

Franck Rasmus
Frank Rasmus

He also likes the attractive payment rates and the tax advantages:  both the charitable deduction when the CGA is established, and the tax-free portion of each annuity payment. To him, CGAs are a great way to support the missions of organizations he cares about.  “You can’t take it with you,” he notes.  “Better to make a charity the beneficiary of your estate than some insurance company.”

Although he has no children of his own, Mr. Rasmus hopes he can set an example for others to follow. The story of what he was able to achieve with a middle-income salary, he says "is not about me, but about what I can do for others. I'm only the messenger." And the message, he says, is that you don't have to make a big salary to make a big difference.

You, too, can establish a charitable gift annuity with the American Red Cross for as little as $5,000 and enjoy the security of guaranteed income for life and the satisfaction of establishing a gift that will advance the Red Cross mission.  To learn more, contact the Gift Planning Office at 1-800-797-8022, ext. 5, or log on to

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The articles in the issues of the Legacy newsletters are for general illustration purposes only. Information, Gift annuity and tax rates were current as of the time of publication. There can be no guarantee that such information will continue to be accurate in the future. Interested Donors should check with the Gift Planning Office for current rates and deduction amounts before completing their gifts. Calculations of tax deductions will vary based on applicable federal discount rates, which change on a monthly basis. The American National Red Cross is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice or assistance in specific cases, the services of an attorney or other professional advisor should be obtained. Certain links in this site connect to other Web sites maintained by third parties over whom the American National Red Cross has no control. American National Red Cross makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web sites.