After leaving her job and starting a small business, Tami, one of our loyal, long-time donors, felt herself thinking differently about the impact she was making on the world and the community around her. It's quite the topic to grapple with.
"I think a lot of people struggle as they get older about how to make a difference," Tami said.
At the time, Tami was focused on the present, which, according to her, is something people often consider the best way to operate-don't live in the past, don't live in the future, live in the now. She wanted to know what she could do for others now.
While there are always ways to make a difference today, Tami said the sun came up one day and she realized for her, it's not just about the now, it's about the future. "It was suddenly like the lightbulb went offit doesn't have to be what I do in the next five to eight years-I can help in a much greater degree once I leave this earth."
When she was in her mid 50s, Tami went through a divorce, which was another major turning point in how she prioritizes what's important to her when it comes to her will and estate plan. "Going through that process allowed me the opportunity to really think. I took a hard look at the charities I gave to in the past. Once I made the decision, it was really easy. It was just a matter of splitting it and making it equitable and documenting it with my attorney."
The main two causes close to Tami's heart are animals and hunger. Tami has decided to leave 95 percent of her assets, including her retirement accounts and real estate, to two charities she believes make a significant impact (the remaining 5 percent will go to a few smaller charities). As she was putting her estate plans in place, Tami said to herself, "Why not benefit a much larger group than just a few friends and family members?"
Tami, now 59, does not have any children, so her situation may be different than many. But Tami said you don't have to give all your assets to charity; even a small amount can help countless people. "There is so much wealth in the Twin Cities," Tami said. "I'm just a normal person who's worked hard and saved money. If even a small percentage of those families donated 5-10 percent of their wealth before they gave the rest to their kids, it would change the game of charitable giving."
Tami's will currently states that about half of her estate assets will go to Animal Humane Society and half will come to Second Harvest Heartland. We are honored to be trusted with her assets to help fight hunger, an issue Tami finds important. We are so grateful for Tami and every single donor who reflects selfless values in their legacy and leave the world in a better place for hundreds of thousands of people who live locally and struggle to get enough food.
Reach out to Second Harvest Heartland to learn more about how you can be an agent for change even after you pass away-there is no percentage or amount too small, and it is never too early to start thinking about the future.