Fifty Years of Support for ‘A Very Special Place’

For 50 years, Claire Surval, of Queens, New York, has shown her support for National Jewish Health in a variety of ways. She has helped to raise money by managing a thrift shop, running bingo games, coordinating luncheons, and most recently, giving through a Charitable Gift Annuity.

And it all began in the 1950s when Claire believes the institution saved her brother’s life.

Her brother, Allan Abramson, was a patient at the National Home for Asthmatic Children for three years. “The home” eventually became part of modern-day National Jewish Health.

“I’ve always felt an allegiance to National Jewish Health,” Claire said. “My brother was severely asthmatic as a child and I’m not sure he would have survived. Being at the home gave him coping skills he might not have had, and taught him not to panic during an asthmatic attack.”

Recently, Claire decided to continue the legacy of her support through a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA).

A CGA through National Jewish Health provides fixed income for life, while also supporting the mission of the hospital. There are tax benefits to CGAs as well. The initial gift is partially income tax-deductible and the CGA payments are partially income tax-free.

“It’s a wonderful way to make a donation,” Claire said. “I’m enjoying getting a good interest rate for the rest of my life and the partial tax break is a plus as well. I feel it’s a wise decision.”

Claire’s work on behalf of the institution began five decades ago when her mother was asked to volunteer. Her mother joined the Concourse auxiliary chapter in the Bronx and eventually, Claire did, too.

“My mother instilled in me a sense of social values and wanting to help others,” she said.

Throughout the years, Claire has donated time and money on behalf of National Jewish Health and spread the word about the institution and its exceptional patient care and research.

“The work was very gratifying and it still is,” Claire said. She’s even made friends with people from Florida to Arizona and California, while volunteering and fundraising on behalf of National Jewish Health.

“We became like a family and all knew each other. We exchanged ideas and helped each other,” she said.

Today, five decades later, National Jewish Health remains Claire’s favorite charity.

“There is no place like it,” Claire said. “I know that when it comes to respiratory and immunological diseases, if there’s a hope for cure, it will probably come from National Jewish Health. It’s a very special place.”

Learn more about how you can support patients at National Jewish Health