Surviving spouses face urgent and complex needs and often struggle to gain clarity and control of their lives. Wings for Widows, the first and only nonprofit organization of its kind in the United States, provides personalized financial coaching, advocacy and support at no charge to help widows and widowers move forward with confidence and hope.
Volunteer professionals provide coaching for financial needs, legal issues, taxes, social security, life insurance and much more, including something as simple as retitling a car or as complex as managing medical bills. All volunteer financial coaches are experienced financial advisors with current practices; all other advocacy volunteers undergo in-depth training before they begin working with widows or widowers.
Minnesotan Liane Laurion’s experience inspired the launch of Wings for Widows. When her husband passed away in 2017 as the result of a heart attack, she turned to a former colleague of David’s named Chris Bentley. The men worked together as certified financial planners, and Chris began helping Liane.
“What I realized as the months passed,” Liane remembers, “is that I was slowly beginning to regain hope. But other members of my grief support group were not, including some women whose husbands had passed away before mine did.”
Chris adds, “Liane mentioned this to me and asked if I could talk to the group. I did, and afterwards she and I clearly saw the need for a new kind of volunteer organization. According to a State Farm survey, nearly 85 percent of women of all ages said that being the sole financial decision-maker is the most challenging aspect of being a widow. Now we offer additional services such as widow advocacy, education and grief support.”
“COVID-19 has added a new dimension to the issues new widows have to work through,” observes Bentley. “They’re already grieving, but now everything is harder, from backlogs in insurance claims to in-person meetings with bankers to make sense of financial documents. When we started Wings for Widows in 2018, we never could have imagined a global pandemic. But here we are, and we’re thankful we started when we did.”
In 2020, volunteers contributed more than 2500 hours of service to serve men and women experiencing one of life’s most tragic events. Wings for Widows holds the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency and meets the standards of the Charities Review Council. For more information about Wings for Widows, visit wingsforwidows.org or call 612-466-2716.
On behalf of Wings for Widows
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