Seventy-two-year-old Jim Kanally didn’t know about Jewish Family Services’ programs until his conversation with a neighbor. That neighbor happens to be JFS Chief Program Officer Maggie Haghirian, who spends much of her time empowering staff to help more than 10,000 people annually through the agency’s various programs including the food pantry and KesherKC.
Through many conversations, Kanally learned more about JFS, its programs and services, and the impact it makes in the community. Kanally was impressed and supportive. As Kanally was redoing his will, he decided that JFS was something he wanted to financially support, resulting in his $900,000 gift.
“I would rather give it to an organization that does so much for so many people,” Kanally said at a recent reception that JFS hosted in his honor.
Kanally’s gift is unrestricted, giving JFS the flexibility to use the funds where they are most needed. Kanally’s gift is unique in that he had not been a prior donor, which goes against all legacy giving statistics.
Kanally said that one aspect of JFS he was most impressed about is its philosophy of helping everyone. Although having grown up Catholic, Kanally is not associated with any specific faith; instead, his creed is to be good to one another.
“We have to accept all and care for each other,” he said.
“Jim and I have a wonderful friendship,” Haghirian said. “He is such a caring and compassionate person. I am touched that he decided to support JFS’s work helping many in our community.”
Those interested in giving opportunities for JFS can contact JFS Chief Development Officer Debbie Bass, MPA, CFRE, at or call (913) 327-8299. Donations may also be made at jfskc.org/ways-to-give.