At Horizons for Homeless Children, we’re able to provide high-quality family support services year after year thanks to our community of supporters. People like Bob and Jane Cremin, who have seen firsthand the impact their gifts have had on children and families throughout their lifetime continue to be inspired by Horizons’ mission and programs. They’ve generously decided to include Horizons for Homeless Children in their will, ensuring Horizons’ vital work with families experiencing homelessness can continue for years to come.
When asked about their bequest, Bob and Jane were happy to share their planned giving experience and why they chose Horizons for Homeless Children as their top charity.
Bob and Jane, thank you so much for including Horizons for Homeless Children in your will and sharing your experiences with us! How did you first hear about our organization?
Bob: Well, it’s no secret in my circle that I’m a big runner. Eleven years ago, I was approached at work following a presentation. A man came up to me, introduced himself and said “I hear you like to run, Bob. How would you like to run for Boston?”
Turns out that man was a member of Horizons for Homeless Children’s Board, and he was offering me a golden ticket to run for one of the most celebrated marathons in the country. To say I leapt at the opportunity would be an understatement!
Jane: Learning about Horizons for Homeless Children and the work you do through Bob’s marathon experience really made us think about how our gifts can support families and children in ways they need it most.
Bob: To run for a cause like Horizons is an honor, and a huge motivator. For ten years I’ve embraced that bib every marathon since!
What part of our mission connected with you most?
Bob: Growing up in Brooklyn, I wouldn’t be where I am today without the programs that helped me through tough times, and Horizons’ model helping not only children, but also their parents is inspiring work. A few years ago, we were invited to tour your headquarters and we were blown away. You have a system that has a direct impact on these families, and we saw that with our own eyes.
Jane: We like helping people in a real way and we saw that firsthand. You all make it easy to stay informed on what’s happening at the organization too, so we’ve seen how our gifts support the programs throughout the years.
What else impacted your decision to put Horizons as your top charity in your will over other organizations you’re involved with?
Jane: This pandemic has changed all our lives, and we don’t have to worry about food on the table or a roof over our head. It means more to me to help those who are having a much harder time – this work is so important.
Bob: I’m on the Board of a few other organizations, but Jane and I agreed that our philanthropy focus should be on helping people directly, especially those hit hardest by this pandemic.
In addition to the mission, we really like the transparency of the organization. A lot of services don’t show much detail, but Horizons’ 990 for the IRS lays out everything. Every question that I’ve had was answered, including the percentage of funding used towards the kids and families to the administration and teachers. When I send a contribution to Horizons, I feel good knowing where my gifts are being used to support the programs and the organization.
How easy was the process to meet with your lawyer to add Horizons as a beneficiary? Do you have any advice for those who are considering adding Horizons to their will?
Bob: For me it was easy. I started from a place of comfort; I’ve done my research. I’ve walked the floors of Horizons and I saw those kids and was moved by them and their stories. I’ve seen the financial impact of our gifts.
I’m currently in the process of rewriting our will which is ten years old. When it comes to closing the estate, its specific: Horizons will receive a percentage of our estate, and we’ve made sure Horizons is our top charity. I like using percentages and I’ve had great legal advice when putting our will together. It’s best to get advice from those you trust.
And at the end of the day, having trust in the organization you support is also important. I provide unrestricted gifts to support general operations. I’m not on the scene, in a place to tell anyone how to best run the organization. I leave that to the CEO with the board’s support. From what I see and what I’ve learned, Horizons has their families’ best interests at the heart of everything they do.
Any last thoughts for those considering making a bequest?
Bob: The best part of supporting Horizons is that you feel like you can make a difference and you can. You feel good being part of this work and the impact of this organization. It’s joy. Simply joy.
Jane: If you can make even just one life, one child’s experience better on this earth, wouldn’t you want to? At Horizons they help so many, and that’s the kind of legacy we want to leave behind.
This piece was written by Andrea Drag, a regular contributor to Horizons’ blog
For information about including Horizons for Homeless Children in your will or living trust, please contact Alix Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org