The Religious Coalition is the beneficiary of a generous gift from the Carole June Benson Estate.  The Coalition has honored Carole’s legacy by naming the Community Living and Dining Rooms at the new Emergency Family Shelter in her honor.  Additionally, a portion of her gift established an endowment fund to support the Emergency Family Shelter in perpetuity, continuing Carole’s legacy of helping others.  The Fund is held at the Community Foundation of Frederick County.

Carole passed away unexpectedly in the Spring of 2020.  Born in Marlton, New Jersey in 1958, Carole came to Frederick to attend Hood College.  After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, she went on to work for more than thirty years as a writer and editor at Westat in Rockville.  

Throughout her life Carole was known for her intelligence and incisive wit.  She was actively involved in the local theater community, and quietly supported several non-profit organizations, including the Coalition.  Carole was a mentor and source of strength for those who were struggling.  With care, sensitivity, and selflessness, she lifted others up.

Carole’s close friend Alison Shafer described Carole’s legacy:

“After Carole’s death, I learned about the depth of Carole’s impact on the lives of others.  A keeper of confidences, she was a stalwart and safe haven for people in crisis.  Her advocacy for those in need continues with her generosity to local organizations in the community, including the bequest to The Religious Coalition.”  

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor Carole’s life and her service to others.  The new endowment fund will help the Coalition provide ongoing services for our homeless families.  I believe Carole would be pleased to know that her thoughtfulness, generosity, and forward thinking will have a positive impact on the lives on the most vulnerable in our community for years to come.”

For more information about the Emergency Family Shelter Endowment Fund visit The Religious Coalition’s website,, or contact Meg Kula, Director of Philanthropy, at 443-536-3573.

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