Boy and girl with arms around each other

A Gift for Generations

Edgar KoernerEdgar Koerner first heard of Children's Aid as a teenager living in New York City. "My father called me in one day and showed me a solicitation letter from Children's Aid," said Edgar. "He said, 'These people really do good.' That stayed with me."

Edgar soon went to Harvard University and then got his master's degree from the Harvard Business School. He then embarked on a successful career in international finance with Kuhn Loeb and Lehman Brothers.

But in the 1980s, "I decided I wanted to do other things as well," said Edgar. He wrote and published poetry and studied Judaism. He also became invested in Children's Aid, compelled by the plight of homeless children.

First, through one of our programs, he helped children with their homework once a week at the Prince George Hotel for the Homeless. Soon, though, he landed at our Frederick Douglass Center located near Harlem, where he started the Frederick Douglass Reporter, a youth-run newspaper that he edited for 14 years. Whenever he walks around that area, he's bound to see someone — now a young adult — who worked on that paper. "They always say hi," said Edgar. "And I feel that maybe I've helped them a little bit."

Edgar has served on the Children's Aid board for nearly three decades. For 16 of those years, he was either the board chair or president. He and his wife, Eileen, made a powerful endorsement of Children's Aid when they included the organization in their estate planning. "This organization is a very effective force," he said. "I hate to think of New York City without Children's Aid."

Thanks to the Koerners' generosity, they shouldn't have to.