A retired entrepreneur and athlete, Elsa Brader of St. Augustine was always motivated to make a difference in the lives of others. She was an active member of the community in various nonprofits as well as Memorial Lutheran Church of St. Augustine. When Brader passed away in December 2018, she had plans in place to continue making a difference. She had created a charitable trust through which her assets would be donated upon her passing. Her friends and church council members helped bring Brader’s plans to fruition.

One of the organizations to benefit from Brader’s foresight and generosity is Council on Aging (COA). The nonprofit received a gift from Brader for its Meals on Wheels program, which delivers wholesome meals, pet food, newspapers and welcome visits to homebound adults throughout St. Johns County. Brader’s gift will provide for the delivery of nutritious meals five days a week to a senior in need for an entire year.

“Elsa was a very generous person and Council on Aging is definitely worthy of her support,” Dr. Nancy Scott, Brader’s friend of 40 years and fellow church member, said. “I have had many patients over the years who have benefited from the services and programs COA offers. Meals on Wheels was a very important program to them. I am so happy to see it supported by this gift.”

When people think of giving to charity, they sometimes forget that there is an easy way to plan now for a future gift. These donations, called planned giving or charitable bequests, cost nothing now and allow full access to all of our resources while we are alive and continue to need them. They can include gifts of money, stocks, bonds, real estate, insurance policies, 401Ks and belongings. Upon our passing, these bequests allow people to give into the future exactly how and where they have planned.

COA’s lifelong learning and senior center, River House, is another example of the profound difference planned giving can make. Mary Peck’s gift of her home allowed COA to make a down payment on the financing to build River House. When the mortgage is repaid, revenue generated from River House will support COA’s programs and continue to benefit seniors in perpetuity.

To learn about planned giving, contact COA’s Tom Torretta at 904-209-3700 or ttorretta@coasjc.org.