Mary Alice and Dave are college sweethearts. They met at the University of Michigan's University Lutheran Chapel and have been married for over 57 years. As retirees, they lead busy lives traveling to U of M football games (Go Wolverines!), enjoying their grandkids and, all the while, remaining health-conscience. Mary Alice and Dave are also active members of their place of worship, St. Paul Lutheran Church in Mount Prospect.
"We've been involved with LCFS almost as long as we've been married," said Dave. "I graduated with my Masters from the University of Chicago School of Social Work and oversaw a residential treatment facility to assist youth for over thirty years. Because of our faith, it seemed natural for us to volunteer for Lutheran agencies that were helping children and families."
"When we sat down to think about our will, we began with what we wanted to do for our family," Mary Alice recalled. "And then, we picked three charitable organizations to support. LCFS, helps the types of children Dave worked with throughout his career. We're still close with one gentleman that came through foster care and aged out of the residential treatment facility that Dave oversaw. He was in and out of the system his entire youth and is an example of the need for agencies like LCFS that strive to give children the best care possible when parents are unable to do so."
Mary Alice and Dave decided to consult an attorney on how to best include charitable donations in their will. "We chose to use a gift annuity in order to eliminate any delays that are common with trusts. With an annuity, LCFS will benefit immediately from our gift. It's not a great big huge sum, but we've saved and prepared for this and know that every gift, big and small, is important."
Like so many of our LCFS friends, this couple believes in giving from the heart and wished to remain anonymous. However, they did agree to share this giving story in hopes of inspiring their grandchildren and others to give back, make their own plans and create their own giving story.
"It's important to set an example with our philanthropy. At Thanksgiving, we make a charitable gift in each grandchild's name," commented Mary Alice. "I want them to understand the importance of giving what you have to someone who doesn't have as much."
"It's also meaningful to make a plan from a place of abundance…to not wait to see what happens and then give what's left over," Mary Alice explained. "During our church stewardship drive, I told a story about going apple picking. I came home with a bushel of apples; saw a neighbor and gave her some. She was grateful. After making pies, I probably had two or three apples left. If I had made the pies first, I probably would have said…oh no, I can't give these away. I would have missed the opportunity to give and for my friend to receive. So when we give to help others, we should give off the top."
Giving off the top is a mindful way to plan for your legacy. If you'd like to learn more about annuities or other ways to include LCFS in your estate plans CLICK HERE to find out more or contact Marylyn Rodgers at (708) 488-5557 or Marylyn_Rodgers@lcfs.org.