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Paying It Forward

Students at one Iowa school will benefit thanks to a member’s passion for caring for underprivileged children.


“He always had something for underprivileged kids where he really looked out for them,” explained Helen Moskal, whose husband, Dr. Michael Moskal, was a pediatrician in Des Moines, Iowa.

He did his residency at St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and served on various boards and as the head of different organizations in Des Moines and the surrounding areas. “We have three grown daughters and five grandchildren,” Helen said. “He was a good dad and a good grandfather. He took care of people that needed it.” Tragically, he passed away in November 2018. But his legacy didn’t end there.

As a practicing pediatrician in the Des Moines area, he positively affected numerous children and families, so the beneficiary he chose for the Fraternal Legacy Rider1 on his Catholic Order of Foresters life insurance policy is no surprise to those who knew him best. “Mike and I spoke about that together,” Helen, who is very happy knowing local children will benefit from this gift, said. Dr. Moskal’s Fraternal Legacy Rider proceeds will have a significant impact on Holy Family Catholic School and its students; more than 80% of whom live below the poverty line. “They work hard and get scholarships,” Helen explained. “Both of us felt that would be the place.”

General Agent Janet Woods, accompanied by Helen and her daughter, delivered the check to the school. Janet explained, “[He] chose Holy Family because of his desire to help underprivileged children.” The student population at this diverse Des Moines school speaks nine different languages – English, Spanish, Dinka, Hmong, Vietnamese, Sudanese, Arabic, Laotian and Shilluk – and about 75% of students are first generation Americans. “The hallways were so quiet; you can tell these kids are there to learn,” Helen said of her visit to the school that’s in session year-round.

Five local priests stop in once a week to enhance the religious education the students receive. Thanks in part to these efforts, 90% of the eighth-grade graduates go on to attend Dowling Catholic, a local Catholic high school.

Sarah Wiser, Foundation Coordinator at Holy Family Catholic School, expressed her gratitude in a handwritten note that Janet shared with us: “We are so appreciative for this generous gift, and we will continue to stay in touch with the Moskal family to let them know how their gift touched our students.”

Learn more about the Fraternal Legacy Rider here.

Article by Katlyn Gerken.

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