Lindsey Lester-Brutscher

Lindsey Lester-Brutscher

Lindsey Lester-Brutscher

For retired Navy Officer Lindsey Lester-Brutscher, service to her country is in her blood—her father enlisted in the Army Air Corps at 17 and retired as an Air Force colonel and her brother is a retired Army colonel.

Raised in a middle-class family, hunger was not top of mind. As an adult, she took a class focused on social justice issues and, although hunger was not a specific topic of the class, poverty and food deserts were. The seed was planted in an already caring heart.

Her Navy career included serving as an intelligence office and later as a human resources officer and was followed by a brief foray into teaching, including teaching Naval Junior ROTC (NJROTC) at a St. Louis high school. A second career of civilian federal service followed, including serving as director of the U.S. National Support Element Valencia on a Spanish Army base outside Valencia, Spain.

It was during her military career that Lindsey's support of hunger relief began. As a military member, she contributed to the Combined Federal Campaign—the workplace giving program of the U.S. federal government.

"I would receive a thick pamphlet that listed a wide range of organizations to support and I would say to myself, 'Who do I want to donate to in the local area?'" Lindsey said.

Lindsey connected with St. Louis Area Foodbank, a Feeding America network member, learning not only about hunger in her community but also the national hunger relief efforts of Feeding America.

The power of a meal was reinforced later as an NJROTC instructor in a low-income school, where she saw hunger firsthand in her students.

"Hey, Commander!" the kids would say, knowing she had an extra sandwich or two to share or a protein bar from a stash she kept in her desk drawer. "I wanted to make sure they ate something," Lindsey said. "I was seeing it every day." She continued, "That experience reinforced my support for organizations like [Feeding America]. My heart hurts for kids who are hungry."

Lindsey began donating to Feeding America on a regular basis. Later, it was her move outside of the U.S. that triggered her legacy gift to our organization.

"I needed to update my will before moving to Spain," she said. "That's the time at which I put on paper something I was thinking about. I wanted to give one final donation to organizations that I had been supporting who fight battles that I think are really important."

With Lindsey's commitment of a planned gift to support hunger relief in the future through Feeding America, she became a member of the van Hengel Society, which honors individuals who make legacy gifts, including bequests and charitable gift annuities, in support of Feeding America. The van Hengel Society is named for John van Hengel, the founder of the modern food bank movement.

"I hope that other people like me who are not wealthy people but are financially secure consider leaving a legacy gift," Lindsey said. "I planned my retirement. I encourage people to ask, 'Why not leave some of that to meaningful charities?' Even a few percentage points can benefit a charity so much."

We at Feeding America are inspired by Lindsey's lifelong support of community and country and are honored to have her as a fellow comrade in the fight to end hunger. Her story is a testament to how learning, connection and support of causes one holds dear can have meaningful impact both now and into the future.

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Federal tax ID number: 36-3673599

A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Feeding America a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Feeding America, a nonprofit corporation currently located at 161 N. Clark Street, Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60601, or its successor thereto, ______________ [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Feeding America or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Feeding America as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Feeding America as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Feeding America where you agree to make a gift to Feeding America and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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