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How Can Your Donations Help the Episcopal Church Foundation?

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Donating to causes that are important to you not only benefits the charities but can also be extremely rewarding for you. Millions of people donate to charity on a regular basis to support causes they believe in and to benefit their own lives.

The Episcopal Church Foundation (ECF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the growth, revitalization, and transformation of Episcopal faith communities. The organization is succeeding in its mission to inspire and nurture church leaders, assist in the acquisition and management of financial assets, and provide high-quality and innovative resources and ideas for use throughout the Church.

Donation Programs 

ECF’s programs play an important role in constructing the Church of the future. This work does not come cheap. Individuals, foundations, and others who care about this important work make generous contributions to ECF. We hope you will consider making a contribution to help ECF continue to respond to God’s call in meaningful and lasting ways.

Here’s how you can help if you’re interested in donating to ECF:

Ways to Make a Planned Gift

Bequests and Wills

The most straightforward way to make a planned gift is to include the Episcopal Church Foundation in your will. A bequest is a meaningful way to support their work while not interfering with your cash flow during your lifetime. Your attorney can include it when preparing or revising your will, or you can add it at any time.

Some examples of bequests include:

A specific bequest specifies the amount of money, securities, or other assets that you want to leave to ECF. It can also represent a specific percentage of the total value of your estate.

After all other bequests have been satisfied, a residuary bequest leaves the remainder of your estate (or a percentage of the total) to your beneficiaries.

You can designate ECF as the beneficiary of a contingency bequest, which accounts for the possibility of a change in your beneficiary’s circumstances.

Unrestricted and Restricted Gifts

If you want to make a restricted gift, make sure to include language that allows ECF to re-direct the use of your gift if the specified initiative, program, or purpose no longer requires funds in the future.

Charitable Gift Annuities

A charitable gift annuity is a straightforward arrangement between you and the Episcopal Church Foundation. ECF pays one or two annuitants to whom you designate a fixed annuity for life in exchange for your irrevocable gift of cash or securities, and you will be eligible for an income tax deduction in the year you make the gift.

The minimum age to begin receiving annuity payments at ECF is 55. You can, however, establish a charitable gift annuity at a younger age and postpone the start of annuity payments until the age of 55. ECF requires a minimum of $5,000 to establish a charitable gift annuity.

You will receive an instantaneous income tax deduction for a portion of your gift, and your annuity will be backed by the entirety of ECF’s assets.

Retirement Plans

Through your retirement plan, you can make a contribution to the Episcopal Church Foundation. Certain retirement plans, such as IRAs, Keoghs, 401ks, and 403bs, allow you to postpone paying taxes until you withdraw income during retirement. However, these accounts are frequently subject to significant taxes after your death.

Charitable Trusts

A charitable trust can help you achieve your short- and long-term financial, estate, and philanthropic objectives. A donor makes an irreversible transfer of cash, real estate, stock, or other assets to a trust that generates income for the donor or another beneficiary for a set period of up to twenty years or until the donor or another beneficiary dies. The remaining principal possessions will be distributed to ECF at the end of the trust period.

Pooled Income Fund

A contribution of $2,500 or more to a pooled income fund is “pooled” with other contributions in a professionally managed investment portfolio. You or your designated receiver will be guaranteed an income for the rest of your life, with the amount determined by the fund’s investment returns. You will receive an instant federal income tax deduction as well as possibly a reduction in estate taxes. When you die, or the final beneficiary dies, the remaining property will pass to ECF.

Bank Accounts, Securities, and Certificates of Deposit

A planned gift to ECF can be made at no cost by designating it as the beneficiary of a bank account or security. You can direct any financial institution with which you have an account or are the holder of a security to place your asset in a trust (also known as a Totten Trust or a Transfer upon Death Account) that will be transferred directly to the Episcopal Church Foundation upon your death.

Life Insurance Policies

ECF welcomes philanthropic support in the form of gifts of life insurance policies once the policies have been paid in full and ECF has been named as the owner and irrevocable beneficiary of the policy.

End Note 

ECF works hard every day to ensure that all lay and clergy leaders have access to the resources they need to thrive. But they can’t do it alone. There are ways you can help them achieve their mission: you can donate money to support their programs, or you can also spread the word about our work by sharing our website and social media posts with your friends and family. Whatever you do, know that your support is essential to ECF’s success. Thank you for helping ECF strengthen the Episcopal Church community!

Michelle has been a part of the journey ever since Bigtime Daily started. As a strong learner and passionate writer, she contributes her editing skills for the news agency. She also jots down intellectual pieces from categories such as science and health.

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Lifestyle

The Role of Medicine in Achieving and Sustaining a Healthy Body Mass

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The CDC’s latest numbers classify approximately 42 percent of Americans as obese, and over two-thirds of American adults qualify as either obese or overweight. Living with excess weight heightens people’s risk for debilitating and chronic but otherwise preventable conditions like stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.

With new weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy on the rise, many are wondering if these medications live up to their hype and can even help end the obesity epidemic. Sergio Padron, founder and CEO of online healthcare and weight-loss support company MD Exam, believes they can — up to a point.

“It’s important to approach these medications with a thorough understanding of what they can and can’t do,” Padron says. “Magic pills for weight loss don’t exist.”

The importance of achieving a healthy body mass

According to Padron, achieving and sustaining a healthy body mass is key to good health. To obtain your body mass index (BMI), online calculators like this one from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ask for your height and weight, run them through the standard formula, and generate your score. The last step is to find this number in the standardized ranges considered underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese.

“Many healthcare professionals use the body mass index (BMI) for a quick approximation of most people’s health,” he explains. “All you need is the patient’s weight and height, and you can calculate this number.”

There are exceptions, however. “In particular, bodybuilders and other athletes can generate results that make it seem like they aren’t healthy, when in fact they’re in excellent condition,” Padron explains. “That’s because BMI doesn’t consider muscle mass, and muscle is more dense than fat. In addition, BMI doesn’t account for visceral fat being more dangerous than fat deposits elsewhere in the body.”

That’s why Padron cautions people not to make snap judgments based on BMI alone and to seek a more comprehensive view from healthcare professionals. “Factors like body composition, blood markers, and lifestyle need to be considered,” he explains, “which is one of the many reasons why we only offer individualized care at MD Exam.”

If your BMI falls in the overweight or obese categories, then it’s time to make a change. “Unfortunately, excess body weight means you could be developing major health problems that you otherwise wouldn’t,” Padron says. “Being overweight has also been associated with depression. In my experience, it can have a negative impact on self-esteem and even lead to the development of eating disorders.”

Luckily, groundbreaking new drugs have become available to help people recover their quality of life.

How Ozempic and Wegovy can help

According to Padron, pharmaceutical solutions like Ozempic and Wegovy can help most people achieve and sustain a healthy body mass. These medications reduce appetite and increase feelings of fullness, thereby enabling people to regulate their consumption better.

“One of the most important things our patients report is that they’re no longer tormented by cravings,” Padron says. “They find it easier to avoid overeating in the first place.”

In addition, Ozempic and Wegovy have been shown to decrease visceral fat — the dangerous kind of fat deposits. “The idea is to optimize health and well-being, not just lose weight,” Padron says. “We want to make sure you lose the right pounds. When you lose visceral fat and keep muscle, you are heading in the right direction and your body composition improves.”

In some rare cases, however, Ozempic and Wegovy aren’t effective. “Luckily, other interventions can be effective in those cases, such as Tirzepatide or classic weight-loss drugs,” Padron says.

Yet Padron emphasizes that weight-loss drugs alone are insufficient to achieve and sustain a healthy body mass.

Personalized, comprehensive support

“Just taking a pill won’t make pounds disappear,” Padron says. “To lose weight, it’s necessary to get real about your lifestyle and actually change your habits. If you haven’t been exercising, for instance, then it’s time to start getting up a little earlier and going for a morning walk. If you haven’t been eating well, then it’s time to stop buying soda and junk food.”

Easier said than done? “We know it’s hard,” Padron says. “That’s why our program takes support seriously. Our medical staff works with patients one-on-one to develop treatment plans that will work for them. We also provide coaching and connect patients to each other for mutual support and accountability. MD Exam is a community. People make friends for life on our platform.”

Lose weight, feel great

Obtaining a healthy body mass often leads to increased energy levels, improved mobility, and reduced joint pain. It can also help control chronic conditions like high blood pressure and sleep apnea, as well as forestall the development of preventable diseases. If that isn’t already enough, it can also boost patients’ self-confidence and mental health.

“Our patients experience an incredible feeling of accomplishment and empowerment,” Padron says. “Losing weight can be truly transformative. I can’t tell you how many people have told me their whole outlook on life has become more positive.”

For Padron, helping people lose weight is its own reward. “I love watching people shed their depression and come back to life,” he says. “This is the most rewarding work I can imagine.”

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