A passion to make the world more peaceful
Dr. Leon and Hester Petty became interested in Quakerism around the time that they were married. The testaments of simplicity and peace resonated. Focusing on what is most important, finding ways to live in harmony with each other, and seeing the light of God in every person—these were important leadings throughout their lives.
As a young couple, Leon and Hester attended Wilmington Friends Meeting in Delaware while their daughter attended Wilmington Friends School. It was during this period that they met, and were inspired by, people working for the American Friends Service Committee. They saw that the organization was taking concrete action to make the world a more peaceful place.
Later in life, when Leon and Hester started to look at their philanthropy, AFSC became a focus. They wanted to make a deeper investment somewhere, and AFSC covered such a broad spectrum of their interests—meeting so many needs in the world. For example, the organization was combating the military-industrial complex at one level while also helping individual people live in peace.
Ultimately, Leon and Hester decided to make a gift that pays income, known as a charitable gift annuity, with AFSC. They made the gift because they believed that it was important to give back, and AFSC met all of their criteria: good track record, exceptional work, a values-based organization.
Leon passed away in 2019, but Hester remains committed to AFSC. "We all need to raise more money for peace," she says. "Now more than ever, with the fragmentation of our society happening all around us, listen to your heart and think about what is important to you. If what AFSC does—help make the world more peaceful—if that is your passion, follow your passion."
To learn more about creating a gift that pays you income, or other ways to include AFSC in your estate planning, please contact Alyssa Chatten at 888-588-2372 or GiftPlanning@afsc.org.