Claire D. Collins (1934-2019) is a gracious benefactor to Family Promise of Orange County who donated a significant portion of her modest estate to help us purchase a two-stall shower trailer. In January of 2017, Claire reached out to Rev. William Aulenbach for assistance because her water heater stopped working and it had been four months since she’d had a shower. Claire did not have any savings. She had maxed out all her credit cards and had no way to afford the $3,000 it would cost to replace the water heater.
Rev. Aulenbach worked with Claire for several months to obtain a grant to replace the water heater, and a loan to pay off her bills. Finally, she was able to have a much-needed hot shower. Claire had no living relatives or friends and wanted to be a helping hand for others who might be facing a desperate situation in their lives, the way Rev. Aulenbach had been for her. Together, they set up a Living Trust as part of her estate planning to establish, Claire D’s Helping Hands.
Sadly, Claire was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2018 and left this world a few months later. Claire D’s Helping Hands’ first grant provided Family Promise of Orange County a way to provide hot showers to homeless families in our emergency shelters. This mobile unit will be accessible to these families as they re-energize, refresh and regain the self-confidence needed for self-sufficiency. In this act, Claire’s story comes full circle leaving a legacy of love. Although many of us do not want to think about estate planning, we hope Claire’s story serves as inspiration for our friends and donors, to make Family Promise of Orange County a part of your legacy on earth.