High Interest Rates Attract 92-Year-Old Warren Kramer Who Wants to Support National Jewish Health
In November 1938, the Nazis terrorized Jewish communities in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia, plundering and destroying their synagogues, homes and businesses. Seeing the violence, Great Britain agreed to accept children under the age of 17 from the Nazi-occupied areas. The refugee migration was named Kindertransport, and Warren Kramer, now 92, was one of the children transported to England. He left his parents to seek refuge just before his 15th birthday. His parents were sent to a concentration camp soon after.
“I am very, very grateful I am alive, and I want to do some good,” Kramer said.
He recently donated funds to National Jewish Health to establish his second charitable gift annuity (CGA).
“I like to be philanthropic, as well as help my kids and grandchildren,” Warren said. “It is not good to have money sit in the bank and do nothing. I don’t care if I have no money when I die; I want to do good with it now.”
Warren is inspired to give back after living a very long and blessed life. After escaping Germany, Warren ended up living with a family in the small town of Ely, in the English countryside away from the bombings in London. He learned the printing trade in school, then worked at a printing press in Cambridge after graduation. At 19, he enlisted in the British Army. Since he was not a British citizen, the risk of being captured by the Germans was too great for him to deploy. He served all four years in England.
Two years after the war, a relative from Switzerland and the International Red Cross reconnected Warren with his parents who had survived the concentration camp. So at the age of 23, he moved to the United States to be with his parents. There, he joined the New York Typographical Union and married his wife, Ellie, at the age of 30. They had a wonderful life with three children, 21 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren (so far). Ellie passed away in 1993, so Warren now spends half of his time with one daughter in New York and the other half with his other daughter in Memphis.
Somewhere along the way he received a mailing from National Jewish Health.
“I knew the Typographical Union had a Union Printers Home in Colorado Springs for members with tuberculosis. When I received the mailing from National Jewish Health, I thought it was a similar thing and sent in a small donation,” Warren said.
Warren then mentioned his gift to his nephew in Denver, who told him it was not the same as the union home, but that National Jewish Health is a good organization, making a difference for those with diseases related to the lungs, heart and immune system.
“That is when I donated $10,000 to fund my first CGA at National Jewish Health. It was two years ago, and since then I have learned more about the hospital and have become friends with Michele Mosko, the planned giving associate in the New York office,” he said.
Warren has become much more invested in the mission of National Jewish Health to heal, to discover and to educate, so he recently donated funds for a second $10,000 CGA. He likes donating through CGAs because it is a way to transfer cash, real estate or marketable securities to National Jewish Health, and receive an income tax deduction and a fixed annual payment for life in return. The hospital sets interest rates for CGAs based on recommendations of the American Council of Gift Annuities, and rates can be as high as 9 percent.
“I feel National Jewish Health does very important work. The CGAs pay better interest than the banks, and I’m doing some good with the money,” he said.
If you wish to donate, or learn more about CGAs and other donation vehicles, please contact Gordon Smith at 800.423.8891, ext. 6549, or [email protected].