Margaret Harrington was a military brat. She also served in the government as an illustrator, a civil servant. She and her brother loved their home in Alexandria, and also their hometown, Washington DC.
Margaret liked travel with friends, taking cruises and various tours. She never married. A great deal of her time was also spent as a participant in the life of the Church of the Saviour. Her brother advised her on her financial matters, as they received an inheritance from her mother’s side of the family, whose ancestor had something to do with “zippers.” Her brother passed away and left Margaret without any family.
Around this time, Margaret searched among her friends in church for anyone who would be willing to be the trustees of her estate. She always was interested and gave financially to new ministries as they emerged, so Margaret wanted the bulk of her estate to go to such worthwhile causes related to the church.
The true genius of her trust came from Don Manning, her estate attorney. The trust stated that there would be two trustees, who could act in concert, or independently, if needed, and who had the authority to use their best judgment when the occasion arose. It also acknowledged that times change and institutions merge and die, so what existed at that time, may in the future, no longer be feasible as a beneficiary.
My co-trustee, Kayla, passed away to my sorrow and dismay. So I had the task of ending more than 12 years of befriending Margaret and developing a set of criteria to use for distribution of her assets.
True enough, the landscape of ministries had changed and developed. Finally, Margaret was able to bless many, many individuals: to children, to the addicted and homeless, to persons evaluating their finances with their spiritual values, to incarcerated returnees, to the retreat farm, to housing for low income families, to the coffee house, and to community arts, among others. She would have been so pleased that she is still playing a significant role in blessing those whom Jesus called “the least of these.” In fact, if she could, she would have me escorting her around to visit every one of these ministries, to see for herself how they are doing. She was curious and persistent.
Faith and Money Network is grateful to be one of the recipients of Margaret’s generosity. We hope that her giving will inspire you to consider the impact you can make in the near and distant future.
Dec. 5, 2019