40 Years (and Counting) of Faith and Love

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Karen Kania and Peg McClure plan to create a fund to focused on addressing basic needs

Karen Kania and Peg McClure both grew up in the Grand Rapids area. They come from similar backgrounds and value systems. They’ve been together since 1978 and this year are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary. 

They describe themselves as devout women of faith. Their faith leads them to focus much of their giving on addressing the basic needs of our community’s most vulnerable residents. “Without your basic needs being met, you can’t move forward. If you can’t nourish your body, you can’t nourish your spirit,” Karen said.

They are avid supporters of Green Apple Pantry, formerly John Knox Food Pantry, where Karen serves on the Board of Directors. They believe so much in the mission of The Pantry that when it came time for the organization to launch a significant capital campaign for its new home, Karen secured nearly a quarter of the total funds needed within a week.  


When it came time to create their estate plan, Karen and Peg spoke with their attorney at the time, Ben Fowler. “We don’t have children and we knew we wanted to leave our assets to an organization that was helping people access food and safe housing. Ben challenged us to think long-term. What if the organization we gave to was no longer in existence? He suggested we get to know Grand Rapids Community Foundation,” Karen said.

Peg and Karen established a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation and they do much of their current giving through that Fund. After their passing, the Fund will be combined with a gift from their estate to create the McKania Fund for the Economically Disadvantaged at the Community Foundation.

“Ultimately, we hope to alleviate hunger and ensure everyone has a place to call home,” Karen said. “We want all people to feel safe and secure,” Peg added. They like that the Community Foundation supports a variety of organizations doing this work and that it is set up to be lasting.


Planning what will happen to your assets after your lifetime is important. Getting started is often the hardest part. We’re here to help you understand all of your options and explore creative ways to leave your mark on the community you love. Let’s talk! Reach a member of our team at 616.454.1751.