Malcolm DeLong is an affable 75-year-old who lives simply in his apartment, having retired after nearly 37 years as a groundskeeper for the City of Allentown and the Allentown School District. He did most of his traveling back in the 1950's when he was in the Army serving overseas.
Mal doesn't think of himself as a philanthropist, but he is. Careful investing through the years has let him continue to live modestly while a grateful heart has motivated him to name Good Shepherd as beneficiary of his retirement assets. For Mal, who has multiple sclerosis, it's his way of giving back to an organization that has come to play a vital role in his life.
Diagnosed with MS in 1992, Mal couldn't believe it was happening to him. He ignored it and continued on with his life. The disease had little impact then. Four years later though, a painful MS attack robbed him of the ability to walk. He began treatment for the disease he had long denied and regained the use of his legs, relying on a cane to get around.
In 2001, Mal saw an ad in the newspaper about Good Shepherd's MS Wellness Group. He came to a meeting and has become one of the group's most steadfast members, participating in yoga, group outings and other social activities. "These people are like a second family to me," Mal says.
Mal was so grateful for the program, he made a generous donation in 2004, since followed by other gifts. But Mal wanted to do more. After careful consideration, he decided to name Good Shepherd as the beneficiary of his retirement plan. He recognizes that this future gift will help others in ways he can only imagine today. Knowing his philanthropy will strengthen Good Shepherd's 100-year mission of service to people with disabilities gives Mal a tremendous sense of satisfaction. As a result of his planned gift, Mal is now a member of Good Shepherd's 1908 Raker Society.
"It can be done," Mal says of charitable giving. "And it makes me feel good. This is the best place."