Leaving a Legacy

Make a gift that will outlast you.

One day, they will dig a hole, put you in it and throw dirt in your face—then go back to the church and eat potato salad. —Tony Campolo

Legacy seems to be a common theme these days. Maybe because my generation, the boomers, are getting older. Maybe because the things we buy are obsolete before the packaging hits the recycling bin. Maybe because we are realizing that our propensity to accumulate things leaves us with empty hands.

The quote above by Tony Campolo came from a series he did on values, and how we have turned our values upside down. Though the presentation was many years ago, I have never forgotten this line. I remember how we, the audience, laughed out loud—nervously. It’s a sobering thought. One day, our lives will come to an end, with no more time to make a difference. Will who we have been and what we have done have lasting value?

On that day, our legacy will be evaluated. People will talk about whether we made an impact on their lives and on the world around us. So is this a good time to think about how we might continue to bless others after we pass from this life? Is this a good time to make some plans that will have real impact?

If you think about it, leaving a gift in your will is possibly the most impactful gift that you will ever make. Strangely enough, less than half of all Canadians have a will. Without one, who will make decisions about your estate on your behalf? Someone you know? Someone you don’t know?

Without a will, can you be assured that those decisions will reflect your values, beliefs or priorities? In Canada, slightly more than 40 percent of all financial donations are made to religious organizations. Those of us who are active Salvationists will be used to giving our tithe or offering, so leaving a legacy gift in your will seems like a logical extension of that practice. Could you consider tithing on your estate and putting it in your will so you are assured of it happening?

Imagine the gift you could provide to your corps or a local ministry unit, or to a particular work that reflects your passion. Would you like to bless the work of The Salvation Army in another part of the world? With projects always active in some of the more desperate parts of the world, you could have a real impact on many people. The options are almost unlimited.

Provision to The Salvation Army, whether local, national or international, is a wonderful way to bless others and an easy way to leave a legacy.

Are you interested? Are you ready to act? If you have questions, contact legacy@can.salvationarmy.org or call 1-855-546-5556 and we would be happy to answer questions.

Lt-Colonel Fred Waters is the secretary for business administration.

Illustration: TarikVision/iStock via Getty Images Plus

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