Since Kristy and Anthony Schena’s children were young, they have been diligent in emphasizing the importance of sharing time and treasure as a family. They made a practice of giving weekly offerings as well as volunteering inside and outside of their parish, Our Lady Star of the Sea in Grosse Pointe Woods.
During Advent and Lent, the Schenas choose an activity where they volunteer together. This year, their 8th grade twins will be volunteering at their parish Lenten Fish Fry each Friday. “These activities always give them a sense of pride for being able to help others,” shares Anthony.
Kristy also runs a charity for children with special needs in the summertime. The three Schena children volunteer with the summer program and it has contributed to their understanding of Jesus’ teaching to love one another and that each person is made in God’s image.
Given how important stewardship and almsgiving has been to their family, the Schenas had aspirations of creating a charitable giving plan. “Setting up a family fund or an endowment sounded intimidating and expensive. We didn’t think that was something that was possible at this stage of our life with three children in Catholic schools and college on the horizon in a few years,” reflects Anthony.
Becoming a member of the Catholic Foundation’s board and Founders’ Circle, though, opened Anthony’s eyes to the great variety charitable instruments that are available. They discovered that a donor advised fund (DAF) would be a great tool for them to properly budget their charitable giving.