Wings for Widows was founded January 8, 2018, by Christopher Bentley. Chris, a financial advisor and Certified Financial Planner with a decade-long history of working with women in transition, including widows, was inspired in 2017 to begin providing financial counseling services to new widows at no cost.
The inspiration to assist the under-served widow population in the Twin Cities came from heartache and loss. David Laurion, a fellow financial advisor, died at his home unexpectedly of a heart attack. Chris and David had worked together the previous two years and, by chance, Chris inherited the Laurion family as clients, including his spouse Liane, following David’s death on February 4, 2017.
Chris worked with Liane for the rest of the year helping her as he had other widows, but then something special took place. In December of that year Liane was sitting in Chris’ office reflecting on her loss but also her renewed sense of hope. Liane commented that there were other women in her Grief Share group who did not share her optimistic outlook. She said they were still struggling with finances and other areas of their lives after the loss of their spouses. Chris offered to meet with Liane’s Grief Share friends to see if he could help in any way, and Liane obliged. After meeting with the other widows Chris realized there was a very real unmet need – helping new widows in their hour of distress. After several weeks of due diligence, he filed Wings for Widows as a 501(c)3 public charity. But not without getting Liane to join him as the first Secretary of the organization. Wings for Widows honors David with every widow served.
Envisioning a world in which widows are knowledgeable and empowered to manage the financial transition that results from losing a spouse.