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We thank all our planned-gift donors for their generous support. Here are some of their stories.
Things were so bad at home that my mother decided to place me and my two brothers into care and then checked herself into a shelter. I encountered my first ray of light that day back in 1946. I stood at the bottom of the steps at the Knight Children’s Center and a social worker greeted us with a big smile.
This was the first time I had ever experienced someone really smiling at me. I immediately felt loved. I went on to stay at The Home for six months, where I celebrated my 4th Birthday. I remember being cared for and loved and this provided such a strong foundation for the hope that maybe things aren’t so bad. Of course The Home is a beneficiary in my will—I would never have made it without the care I received there. I want to give something back for other kids.
When I was a child, my mother used to drive me to the “In Gathering” which was held every Thanksgiving, so that we could bring food to The Home. I had no idea what was going on, nor could I realize then what an important part The Home was to play in my life. Back in the early 1940s, my husband and I applied to many organizations for an adoption. Most of them refused to even talk to us, saying our home life was “not normal,” presumably because my husband was in the Navy. But The Home did not respond that way. We were given two absolutely wonderful boys who have grown up into fine men.
We will be grateful to The Home forever. In addition to being long-time annual donors, we have named The Home in our will.
We’re getting a little older, so I guess we find ourselves thinking about the future a lot more than we used to. Not just our future and that of our children, but also the future of The Home, an organization we’ve believed in and supported for so many years. We want to be sure that it will still be doing its job long after we’re gone. So, a few years ago, we decided it was time to start making definite plans to help ensure our favorite charity’s future as well as that of our family.
We started gathering information right here, at this website. Then, we talked to our financial advisors and to the staff at The Home. We spent a rainy Sunday afternoon at home with a calculator, a legal pad, and a pile of mutual fund statements.
After looking over the different gift plans available to us, we decided that a Charitable Gift Annuity was right for us. We were reassured that it would pay us income for the rest of our lives – in a fixed amount that we could depend on, and at a higher yield than our CDs or mutual funds were providing us. We liked the income tax deduction we could claim for setting up our Gift Annuity, and also the fact that part of our annuity income would come to us tax-free.
Best of all, our Gift Annuity has allowed us to make a larger gift to The Home than we would ever have been able to make in an outright gift or through our estate. We’re very satisfied with our decision!
I bought a lot of life insurance when our family was young. Wanted to be sure that Bev and our children would be taken care of should anything unexpected happen to me.
Well, I’m still around, thank goodness. Our children are grown and settled, and Bev and I did little better financially than we ever thought would be possible when we were starting out. Truth is, our family no longer needed all the life insurance coverage I was carrying for them.
That excess insurance was really an asset that was no longer productive for us. We talked about it with our accountant, and she said that we could donate some policies to our favorite charity – The Home. We would receive an income tax deduction approximately equal to the cash surrender value of the policies, which would come in very handy at tax time.
The Home could either cash in the policies and use the funds for current projects, or hold them for the death benefits they will pay when we die.
It was a win-win result: we were able to help The Home out significantly, but we did it by using assets we had almost forgotten about, and in a way that didn’t affect our cash-flow or our family’s security.
We wanted to make a gift to The Home in addition to our annual support – a commitment that would make a lasting impact on the organization our whole family loves.
But how to do it? We can’t afford to give away large sums while we’re alive, and our children are counting on receiving most of our estate. Our financial advisor came up with the creative solution. He had been looking over the annual statements from Tom’s and my IRAs and retirement plans.
“There will be more than adequate distributions available from these plans after you retire to maintain your lifestyle and enjoy yourselves a little bit,” he told us. “In fact, I’ll probably be advising you to minimize your withdrawals and keep the accounts growing.
“But, did you know that any balance remaining in those plans when the second of you dies could be taxed twice if you leave the accounts to your children through your will? That’s right – the balances could be subject to both estate and income tax. Your children could wind up with a lot less than you’re expecting them to get.”
His plan? Designate The Home as the recipient of all or a portion of the remaining balance in our retirement plans. That transfer will be subject to neither estate nor income tax, resulting in a substantial gift to The Home. We were then able to allocate the other assets in our estate to our children, knowing that they can take them free of the double tax that applies to retirement accounts.
The result for us? We solved an estate-planning problem we didn’t even know we had, and found a way to provide long-term support for our favorite institution.
After my wife Karen died, I began to appreciate much more the organizations to which she had been so devoted. The Home was always her favorite, and I began to look for ways that my giving could keep her commitment alive.
I decided to make a bequest to The Home. Trouble was, I had just re-written my will, and I didn’t want to go the time and expense of having a new document drawn just to add a bequest to The Home.
My lawyer told me that I could set up the gift through a codicil to my existing will. She told me that a codicil is a simple document that makes specific changes to a will – like adding a charitable bequest – but leaves everything else alone. It’s a great solution for making minor adjustments to an estate plan you’re otherwise happy with.
She had the codicil ready for me to sign in two days – and now I can rest easy knowing that the organization that meant so much to Karen will be hearing from her once again.