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Honoring a Family’s Legacy

Not many 23-year-olds would consider themselves philanthropists. But that’s how Magen Moody could be described.

She is a member of the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle, an annual giving society for woman philanthropists and leaders.

Magen decided to join the Tiffany Circle on a day when fates converged.

Red Cross Memories

Magen’s father, Daryl, passed away when she was 13. Through the years, her mother would talk about Mr. Moody’s dedication to the American Red Cross and the many states they travelled to assist victims of natural disasters.

Daryl had always been one to help others; he was active in several organizations throughout his youth, and an Eagle Scout at only 15. The passion for the American Red Cross was evident in every story Magen has learned of her parents, especially her father, whose early career with the organization moved him and his wife, Debra, from Dallas, Texas, to Peoria, Illinois, in the late 1970’s.

Debra Moody talks about going to disaster sites with her husband and, as a volunteer, providing Red Cross services such as passing out sandwiches from the back of a truck to disaster victims and emergency responders.

Magen remembers the love her father had for the American Red Cross and enjoys sharing these memories.

She thanks her mother for not only being her strength and comfort, but for keeping these memories alive over the years since Daryl’s passing. Because Magen was in junior high at this time, Debra set up a scholarship fund for students attending Magen’s school in honor of Daryl’s association with the organization and also requested that any donation to the family be made to the American Red Cross in his memory.

Discovering the Tiffany Circle

Magen currently holds a marketing position with Gold’s Gym International at their corporate office in Texas, while continuing her graduate education in the evening. Magen’s busy schedule became even more hectic when her grandfather Moody passed away last year, leaving her the responsibilities of the only surviving next of kin.

On the tenth anniversary of her dad’s passing, Magen was reading an article kept among the family’s memorabilia about a tragic Illinois flood at which Daryl assisted. The tenth anniversary fell in August of 2010, and Magen thought it was the perfect time to look for volunteer opportunities that would also involve her in the Red Cross.

While browsing through volunteer opportunities, she found an article on women leaders who support their local Red Cross through philanthropy and fundraising. The group was called the American Red Cross Tiffany Circle; annual membership was $10,000.

Before Magen could finish reading the page, her attorney called, saying there was an additional check for $10,000 coming back to her in the name of her grandfather’s last beneficiary, her father.

“In the event of first learning about the Tiffany Circle, and receiving this call about a check in the name of my father on the day of his passing ten years ago—I knew exactly where it needed to be,” Magen says.

Sharing the Red Cross Experience

Several phone calls and an email later, Magen was at the Dallas Area Chapter of the Red Cross signing on as a Tiffany Circle member. The day happened to be August 10, her father’s birthday.

Magen speaks of the “immense patronage, passion and determination it takes to rebuild an individual’s confidence following a disaster”, and how much she values “being a part of a global community intent on the empowerment of others.”

Donations by members of the Tiffany Circle help ensure Red Cross chapters continue to have the ability to train volunteers to respond to disasters, help military families reach loved ones in an emergency and enable chapters to teach individuals and families to prevent, prepare for and respond to everyday emergencies. The women of the Tiffany Circle make up an ever-growing 500 members in the United States who have helped raise more than $13 million.

Magen speaks of her pride in belonging to a group of women who “have no boundaries to the number of lives changed and legacies built” through their service to the Red Cross.

She speaks of being part of a group of women committed to a mission that has historically been fulfilled by women, and recalls vintage American Red Cross postcards illustrating women at the forefront of wars in which their families were called upon to defend the nation. Magen says she is honored and blessed having an opportunity to work with the women of the Tiffany Circle in “creating and defining the next chapter in the history of the American Red Cross.”

Most of all, Magen speaks of how the Red Cross has allowed her to follow her mother’s example of growth and leadership with a purpose, and her father’s example of service. “The man that in my eyes was simply dad was actually a hero; he touched the lives of so many,” Magen says.

“Dad shared his Red Cross experience with my mother over the course of his life,” Magen continues, “and he is now sharing it with me, throughout the course of my life. I have had the opportunity to become part of an organization that has inspired a legacy to my family and rebuilt the relationship I had with my father, as if he were here himself.”

Magen has since been asked to share her story at local Tiffany Circle events and speak on young women in philanthropy with the Tiffany Circle National Council. She says she looks forward to her involvement with the American Red Cross and continued support of the Tiffany Circle.