Sharing Her Mother’s Inheritance

When Margaret Nikelly’s mother passed away, she named several of her favorite charities in her will. She also left funds for her children and grandchildren.

Margaret did not think twice about the charities she would choose. ANERA was at the top of her list.

When Margaret and her brother and sister got together to talk about their inheritance, they decided to follow their mother’s example and each donate a portion of their inheritance to two of their favorite charities. “We wanted to give the money to help someone in need just as my mother had.”

Margaret did not think twice about the charities she would choose. ANERA was at the top of her list. It was her boss’s devotion to ANERA and ANERA’s support for a music conservatory in the West Bank that first drew Margaret’s attention.

Margaret Nikelly, longtime supporter of ANERA art and music programs, has put ANERA in her will.

Margaret Nikelly, longtime supporter of ANERA art and music programs, has put ANERA in her will.

Margaret worked for 24 years as a fundraiser for Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. Her boss Ken Landis was a long-time supporter of ANERA and its work in arts and music education. “My boss at Swarthmore was very supportive of ANERA’s music and arts programs and he encouraged me to donate to ANERA,” explains Margaret. “I used to contribute a lump sum every year but now that I’m retired, I switched to a monthly donation.”

Margaret is an accomplished musician herself, having studied at the Royal College of Music in England. She plays viola in a string quartet she organized. She also plays in the Swarthmore College orchestra. “I’m the oldest member of the orchestra,” Margaret laughs, having recently retired from her work raising funds for the college and specializing in planned giving.

Margaret’s donation from her inheritance was used to buy much-needed musical instruments for children studying at the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, in Ramallah in the West Bank. ANERA has supported the school for nearly 15 years. “I was so pleased to know that the money could buy so many instruments and provide a gift for children of all ages.”

Margaret says she is inspired by all that ANERA can accomplish under difficult circumstances. “I think of all the frustrations Palestinians face and I’m just glad to be doing something, to give something to help. Music is so close to my heart and I know what joy and comfort it can bring.”