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Benevolence Is Back

Hands-inBenevolence is a word my grandmother would have used.  But I’m bringing benevolence back. Two years ago, I joined an incredible group of trustees on the AICPA’s Benevolent Fund. This experience has changed me. The Fund’s mission is to help our members. The trustees’ immediate goal is to raise awareness that the Fund exists so members know where to turn when unplanned financial emergencies occur.

The Benevolent Fund is a tangible expression of compassion. It’s a refreshing departure from the normal gruff and impersonal business world. The Fund has been quietly sprinkling generosity and kindness via financial assistance to needy AICPA members for nearly 80 years. Eighty years of benevolence. 

Being a CPA does not make one immune to financial catastrophe. Fund applicants are well-educated, hard-working professionals who are enduring unfortunate circumstances. Each one of these stories could easily be yours or mine:
  • Anne is a 91 year old widow who is fighting cancer and suffers from debilitating arthritis, osteoporosis, hypertension and near blindness.  Her daughter, who helps when she can, has just been told that her leukemia has returned.  The Benevolent Fund’s $600 of monthly assistance has helped Anne to pay for basic living and medical expenses. 
  • Bill is the controller of a respected international company.  He remains the legal guardian of his 21 year old mentally-ill daughter, Sally. Bill has paid for years of medical treatment, residential facility care and medication to help Sally overcome her pattern of self destructive behaviors. Sally’s recent suicide attempt combined with back surgery for Bill’s wife has resulted in a pile of costly medical bills that the family simply cannot afford. The Fund has been Bill’s life line to pay those expenses.
  • In 2011, Jane was laid off from her position as an accounting manager. She was confident that she would be able to find work before her unemployment ran out; it took 14 months. Weeks after beginning her new job, Jane slipped and fell in a grocery store, breaking her kneecap which required surgery. Still in the probationary period of her new job, Jane was terminated. She has applied for food stamps. The Fund has been there for Jane to cover her basic living expenses while she continues to look for work.

I support the Benevolent Fund because I love my profession. I am compelled to use my resources to assist those who share my chosen field. Someday it could be me.    

Benevolence has relevance.   Join me in bringing benevolence back. 

** Note:  stories above are from actual fund recipients but all names have been changed**

Emily Ballard, CPA, Audit Senior Manager, GHP Horwath. Emily has served as trustee for the AICPA’s Benevolent Fund since 2010.  

Hands image via Shutterstock

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