Leaving a Legacy
17 August 2017
As adults we spend much of our lives thinking about money. We focus on careers, managing a home, and raising a family. After a lifetime of hard work and dedication, and I might add, a lot of creative budgeting and conservative spending habits, a family might find themselves with an estate that requires careful thought, consideration and a plan – a plan that includes the idea of a life well lived and what can be left for future generations not only within the family circle, but extending out to an entire community!
Locally, Miller reaps the benefits of generous gift giving. Our recent graduates were awarded thousands of dollars in scholarship money and now are able to attend college at a reduced rate or virtually free because of generous alumni who wanted to give back to their community. Miller Area Foundation has given over $360,000 to various projects around our town to benefit children and adults of all ages. They are getting close to reaching their $1 million goal. Hand County Health, Wellness and Community Foundation has helped to raise over $2 million to help provide top-notch health care in a small community. Private funds were also given to the Miller Community Center and Miller Golf Course. Both organizations have a 501c3 status so that any gifts can be tax deductible. In addition to the hospital, community center and golf course, there are other organizations in our area that could also benefit from generous gift giving: McWhorter Museum, Miller Fire Department, GAR Cemetary, Hand in Hand Day Care, Rustler Roost, Hand County Library, Hands of Hope, and of course our local churches and schools just to name a few.
Regionally, the Bush Foundation (Archibald and Edyth Bush) has given over one billion dollars to communities in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The emphasis of the Bush Foundation is encouraging the region “To think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities. And to do more good. Every year.” Denny Sanford is another shining example of gifting. Sanford’s philanthropic gifts focus on improving the quality of life for children and have totaled over $500 million.
Nationally you may have heard of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. As of May 30th, this foundation has given over $32 billion! Some of the foundation goals include expanding educational opportunities and access to information technology. Warren Buffett is another notable philanthropist who has pledged to give away 99% of his fortune through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffett also founded (along with Bill & Melinda Gates and Mark Zuckerberg) “The Giving Pledge”, where billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their fortunes. Currently there are 168 members from 21 different countries!
And while most of us can’t come close to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or Denny Sanford, we can make a difference in our communities. Visit with your loved ones, make a plan
to leave a family legacy that continues to give back to the community and allows your family to touch the future. And remember gift giving doesn’t just come in the form of money, it can include houses, lots, land, vehicles, or even time and service to your community.
As Bart Astor once said, “We all want to be remembered, to feel that we’ve contributed something to the world.”
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