The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a non-profit group that provides critical assistance to those in need, received some much-needed assistance itself, thanks to the generosity of Frank Raskauskas of Delaware-based Seaford Management.
Frank’s story about helping the group spend dramatically less money on its taxes – which the charitable organization uses to further fund its vital community services – was chosen as a winning entry in this year’s Meet the Difference Makers contest, called the Return-a-Day Giveaway.
Through Seaford Management LLC, Frank and one full-time employee has provided bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to hundreds of clients from all over the world since 2000.
Frank began helping St. Vincent de Paul with its taxes six years ago, after learning that other firms wanted to charge the organization a yearly retainer between $3,500 and $5,000. Frank charges them a heavily discounted rate of just $350.
Genuinely surprised to learn he had won a $500 prize after entering the Return-a-Day Giveaway, Frank called up the organization to tell it his news and how it would affect the payment. “I notified the members of St. Vincent De Paul that this year it’s going to be free,” Frank says. “It was like manna from heaven for a group that is working to help the poor!”
The manna isn’t going only to the $350 invoice. Frank explains how the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of the Diocese of Wilmington, which consists of 38 chapters, including parishes in the Diocese plus prison ministries, will further benefit from the $500 prize windfall.
“The $150 left over is going to be applied to an audit,” Frank says. “What we do is we take one-third of the parishes in on a rotating basis every three years. They get a six-month audit to make sure their funds are properly attained and properly distributed. We only charge $70 a parish for that, so the remaining $150 of the prize will be applied to a $910 invoice covering 13 parishes.”
Frank also reveals what he did in the previous year, after his client paid the $350 invoice.
He promptly gave the $350 back so the charity could purchase a freezer used at the food bank.
What motivates Frank to go above and beyond for this client? “My thinking is that if there was ever a group more in need, a group that’s more deserving, it would be hard to find one,” Frank says. “So much is done by St. Vincent de Paul to help the poor here on the Delmarva Peninsula.”
And one final question for Frank: Do you think your story will convince others to do the same?
“I hope so,” Frank responds. “People learn mostly by example. Words mean nothing until they’re followed by action and we believe in action.” Frank pauses, then concludes: “We like to give back now.”
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