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Touch the world

Fred and Joan Weisman

Fred Weisman

When Fred Weisman first volunteered with Americares in the late 1980s, he helped repair homes for local families and participated in humanitarian aid missions that took him to the most far-flung countries.

Under the threat of fire, he helped deliver urgently needed medical supplies destined for war-ravaged Kosovo. On another mission he traveled to Turkey to help erect winter tents for earthquake survivors, wrestling for hours to get the tent poles into the frozen ground. Fred, at times accompanied by his wife, Joan, has participated in nearly 20 missions including many to Central America.

"I have always thought that the most treasured gift someone can give is the gift of himself," he said.

Over time, Fred and Joan became increasingly involved with Americares, and in 2003 Fred joined the Board of Directors. The Weismans gained an even deeper understanding of health care needs and have provided key funding to open a free health clinic in Bridgeport, Conn., and support Americares programs worldwide.

"I had a charmed life and I feel obligated to give back," Mr. Weisman said. "I've always felt that I am the most fortunate person I have ever met."

As the ultimate expression of generosity, the Weismans decided to name Americares as a beneficiary of Fred's IRA. Said Mr. Weisman, "To help ensure that the charity closest to my heart would continue into the future is what I chose as my major philanthropic legacy."

Fred and Joan Weisman are distinguished members of the Macauley Legacy Society.

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