Mary Theresa Ross is the Personal & Planned Gifts Officer at the IWK Foundation & Executive Chair of Nova Scotia Leave a Legacy.
The IWK Health Centre Foundation is a proud supporter of the Nova Scotia LEAVE A LEGACY™ program which promotes and celebrates the awareness of planned giving. A planned gift can take many forms including a bequest in a will, a gift of life insurance, a gift of real property, gifts of stocks, or endowments that generate income to fund programs well into the future.
I recently had the opportunity in my role as Executive Chair of Nova Scotia LEAVE A LEGACY™ to meet with Mayor Peter Kelly to have a declaration signed on behalf of Halifax Regional Council to proclaim May, 2011 as LEAVE A LEGACY™ month in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
The majority of estate gifts that are received at the IWK Foundation come as a surprise. When this happens we are always disappointed that we did not have the opportunity to say thank you and let the donor know that their generous compassion for children and women’s health helps fund patient programs, equipment, groundbreaking research and formative educational activities that improve the lives of patients at the IWK. Charities rely on the many estate gifts they receive, regardless of the monetary value, as it gives us the ability to better plan for the future.
A person is never too young or too old to start thinking about how to make a difference. The perception of estate planning is that if we are thinking about making a planned gift we are looking at the last chapter in our lifetime. Actually, estate planning begins another journey and it is that journey that helps ensure your family and loved ones are protected and taken care of. Your generosity nurtures the future of causes that are important to you and the ability you have to make a difference in our community. A gift to the IWK plays an important role in the search for treatments and cures for the diseases and conditions that affect us all. How magical is it to know that the decision you make today could save the life of a sick child in years to come. It is powerful. I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotes: “I wondered why someone didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody”. We all have a say in the future, and we should all take the time to think about how we want to be remembered.