"I Have Hundreds of Kids"
Attorney Howard Caretto acts as mentor and much more to Y youth
I was first affiliated with the Brooklyn Central Y, which is now the Dodge Y when I worked there as a day camp counselor. I was 17, and it was a great experience teaching children how to swim. There's nothing better than the Y in terms of providing a family atmosphere for the entire community.
My family is the Y. It provides a family atmosphere for the entire community, with a knowledgeable adult leading every program. The Y provides youth with a place to interact with peers and to make new and lifelong friends. I'm judging from the fact that I'm still in touch with many people from my own Y experience 40 years ago.
In addition to creating lifelong connections, the Y helps people grow up. Its diversity helps kids meet all kinds of people and try different things. You go as a kid or as a parent and see different generations intermingling. Wherever you go in the YMCA, all ages are participating.
Strong Kids Need Strong Mentors
As an adult, I continue to be involved at the Y. One of my most fulfilling roles was as a mentor to kids in Youth and Government program.
Mikhail Lindsay is one of the kids I have mentored of whom I am most proud. He won the Best Advocate Award for the entire state his first year in the program..
Mikhail is a remarkable young man. It's a genuine privilege to work with high-quality kids such as Mikhail, and to give them a little guidance.
Y programs like Youth & Government enhance kids' self-esteem. In such an elite program, the kids are pushed to work very hard. They always knew that I expected the best of them and they rose to the occasion and did a great job.
Mikhail, for instance, responded very well to the high expectations and enjoyed the program. He had the skills to improve with a little hard work,and I believe that taught him a life lessons - that if he has the skills and works hard he can accomplish great things.
Joining the Heritage Society
I have always wanted to support the Y because it is so dear to my heart. My family is the Y, and because my wife and I have no kids of our own, we hoped to one day contribute financially to the Y. I wanted to ensure that just as the Y was there for my friends and me, the Y would be there for future generations of kids.
With the Y's help, my dream of supporting future generations came true. My wife and I set up an annuity that generates income free of federal tax for us while we're alive, and later on the remainder of the principal will go to the Y. I just happened to have sold some real estate and needed to invest some money at a certain percentage rate, so to receive that income tax-free as long as we live was a benefit.
Our contribution is considered a charitable gift and offers us a deduction in addition to helping the Y. In addition to the tax benefits, we receive fixed payments based on our age.. We are able to enjoy the benefit of our assets while we're alive , and the Y knows it can count on our gift in the future.
We also made the gift because we have been very impressed with the leadership of Melvin Tse, Senior Executive Director of Operations, who oversees the Prospect Park, Park Slope Armory, Greenpoint and Flatbush YMCAs. He and Jack Lund, CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, show that the Y is being very well run. I get a good vibe from what I see because our assets are in good hands, and I'm happy to be part of that.
Learn more about gift and estate planning through the Heritage Society. Call Gary Laermer at (212) 630-9629 or email him at email@example.com.