A Publication of WTVP

A concept popularized by bumper stickers suggests, "The one with the most toys, wins!" Yet a Biblical counterpoint says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth." Basically, you can't take it with you.

Recent news highlighted a major bequest from the estate of Joan Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald's. Kroc's estate transferred $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army. This is in addition to another $200 million that was left to National Public Radio.

OSF and its medical centers have also benefited from significant bequests in the last few years. John W. Albrecht of Fairbury left his estate to a trust that made possible the construction of a new hospital facility in Pontiac. Ralph Bartels of Rockford left a bequest to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center that was used to provide new technology to advance cancer treatment in that community. Bequests to other OSF entities have supported hospice care and created endowed support for patient care.

Bequests can and do make a substantial impact on charitable organizations in the community. Many times, a service to people in the community is made possible via a bequest. One suggestion asks individuals to consider the organizations they contribute to on an annual basis and endow that giving through an estate gift. For example, if you contribute $5,000 to the support of care and healing treatments for children served by Children's Hospital of Illinois, you might consider a $100,000 endowment gift to provide that annual $5,000 amount in perpetuity.

Scholarship funds at schools and universities, medical student fellowship support at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, the care of those in need at the YMCA, Peoria Rescue Mission, Heartland Community Clinic, and many other worthy causes exist in Peoria and beyond that merit our consideration. The impact of how this support can affect Peoria and elsewhere is highlighted by studies that suggest multiple trillions of dollars will be passed through the estates of the current and baby boomer generations over the next 20 to 30 years. Think about the impact if even a small percentage of that value was given for charitable purposes to provide services in our communities and for its people.

Today, to meet the needs of the communities we service, charities need your help. The cost to provide food, shelter, and clothing to the needy has risen. Costs to provide medical care for children and those vulnerable in our community have increased. The demand for funds to support education, churches, museums, zoos, and other community resources are being challenged. You can make a difference by the use of a bequest or planned gift to support the organizations you care dearly about. My family has considered the above, and we've made plans to provide support for the care of others through our estate.

No matter what your religious persuasion, all faiths encourage us to meet the needs of others. We can and should do this as we plan our final transfers. IBI