Over lunch in a cozy mom-and-pop restaurant in northern Maine,
Frank talked about his dreams. Frank is a retired businessman in his seventies.
He lives in a large, old house in a small town and has one adult son living with
his own family in a different part of the country. Since becoming a UU in the
late 1940's, Frank has been a member of several congregations and now belongs to
the Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Frank has willed his $1.5 million estate to a charitable remainder
trust to create the Walt Whitman Fund, a permanent endowment fund at the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
The Whitman Fund will provide the UUA with resources to lift up gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) concerns through two important UUA programs
that impact GLBT people. Part of the Fund's income will be used "to increase
public awareness of Unitarian Universalist values and perspectives on social
justice issues, notably issues that affect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and
transgender persons." Another portion will help the UUA's Beacon Press
strengthen its offerings on GLBT issues, newly named The Walt Whitman
I met Frank three years ago when I was in Florida on UUA business,
and Frank was visiting family. Over key lime pie in Tampa we spoke about the
many activities and programs at the UUA. Frank told me that he dreamed of
helping the UUA do more and better work for GLBT people. Some months later,
Frank and his lawyer created a trust agreement giving much of his estate to the
He has named the Fund for Walt Whitman because of his life-long
admiration of Whitman's poetry and ideas. "He's a real giant of literature. He
was interested in every kind of human phenomenon, every kind of universal
In each of the conversations we've had since then, I've sensed
Frank's growing pride in the Whitman Fund. He's full of enthusiasm about the
work it will enable to UUA to accomplish for GLBT people. One of Frank's close
friends has already decided to contribute to the Fund and he hopes that many
others will be moved to contribute as well.
Frank's generosity and commitment are themselves a wonderful,
progressive legacy, moving Unitarian Universalism toward its goal of honoring
the worth and dignity of every person. He has made his initial contribution to
the fund by donating all of his income payments from a Pooled Income Fund gift
directly to the Whitman Fund, and plans to give more.
For more information contact giftplansatuuadotorg.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Thursday, September 8, 2011.
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