How estate gifts of the past jumpstarted our Ukraine emergency response

    Nearly 80 years after Lutheran World Relief was founded to meet the overwhelming needs of neighbors in Europe following World War II, here we are again. This time the tragedy is unfolding in Ukraine.

    Yet again, we see heartbreaking images of destruction and loss. Yet again, we find ourselves desperate to reach our neighbors with much-needed relief and comfort.

    It almost seems like history is repeating itself. Except in this moment, we have such a tremendous gift that we didn't have back in 1945 – the gifts left behind by a host of caring saints that help ensure we can respond to emerging needs around the world just as we have done since our founding.

    Did you know estate gifts fund nearly a quarter of our emergency response efforts?

    Here's why that matters:

    • It helps us "hit the ground running" after an emergency – before we have received a single cash gift

    • It helps us respond to emergencies around the world while continuing our ongoing poverty-fighting work

    • It's a powerful way that our friends who have gone on before us continue to share their love with neighbors in need for a long time to come

    And these charitable gifts in your will can make all the difference for neighbors like Svitlana.

    Svitlana and her two daughters, 13 and 17, fled their home, a town about an hour outside of Kyiv. They made it to the train station in Krakow but have no friends or family in Poland and have relied on strangers to direct them where to go next. They carry little with them as they didn't have much time to prepare. She's not sure where she will go or how they will live, she just wants to make sure her children are safe.

    In this critical moment, gifts in wills are providing food and water, along with emergency supplies and long-term support to families in crisis around the world.

    Become a Partner in Lasting Promise

    The needs are ever-present, and they won't stop, so we must ensure our love is always ready to help neighbors, no matter where they are and no matter what challenges they face. Leaving a share of your estate to Lutheran World Relief will keep that legacy going, reaching families in need for generations to come.

    Take the next step toward having an estate plan that truly reflects your wishes and values. Here are three easy steps you can take.

    1. If you've remembered your neighbors in need with a gift in your will, please tell us. In addition to giving us the opportunity to say thank you and enter you into the Partners in Lasting Promise society, when we know about future gifts, we can steward our resources even better.

    2. If you need to write a will, use our free online service. We are proud to offer you the services of FreeWill, an online service where you can write a legal will at no cost to you.

    3. If you have questions, order our free guide. We'll mail you our Guide to Leaving a Gift in Your Will that includes information that will help you prayerfully discern your wishes.

    THANK YOU for your continued prayers, gift and support for the people of Ukraine – and neighbors who suffer all around the world.