The Reverend Gail Ganter-Toback – A Lasting Legacy
By Mike Smith
The Reverend Deacon Gail Ganter-Toback gives away a lot of what she has.
“I don’t need twenty sweaters,” she told me recently at lunch in midtown Manhattan.
Gail is a member of Episcopal Relief & Development’s Matthew 25 Society, whose members have made a planned gift to the organization through a provision in their wills, a charitable gift annuity, a life insurance beneficiary designation, or a trust or pooled income fund.
Matthew 25 members help to sustain the life-saving work of Episcopal Relief & Development. A gift to the Matthew 25 Society provides income to the organization apart from annual giving and creates a separate and vital income stream.
“I feel strongly that we’re called to seek and serve Christ in every person,” Gail said.
Her giving began as a child with a mite box, and it became a way of life.
“It’s my way of extending my hand to the world,” she said. “As a kid, my world became larger because of those mite boxes. I learned where Swaziland is.”
Gail is one of three Episcopal Relief & Development diocesan coordinators in the Diocese of New York, a volunteer job she’s held since 2005. As a deacon, she works for the bishop and has been assigned to St. James’ Church in Hyde Park, in the Mid-Hudson region of the diocese, for the past few years. She has run the Episcopal Relief & Development information booth at diocesan gatherings, and she helps spread the word about our work in churches she visits.
I think of Gail as a kind of triple-crown donor. She gives monthly. She has remembered the organization in her estate plans. And she talks about Episcopal Relief & Development with other Episcopalians at every opportunity. She has put her faith into action because, “Our baptismal covenant calls us to do something.”
Images: Top, A young boy from the Philippines.. Middle 1, Gail Ganter-Toback at Grand Central Station. Last, The Sower Painting by Bertram Poole.
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