What will you leave behind?

By Jennifer Winnett Denniston
July 1, 2019

They say that seeing is believing. But sometimes it’s the things you can’t see that make the biggest impact.

At Plan International USA, we know that things like sanitation kits and school supplies are critical to the girls we work with. But it’s the intangibles that come alongside those physical things that truly change lives — like the hope that a scholarship brings to a girl who gets to go to school for the first time, or the joy a young soccer players feel when they make new friends on the field.

But there is another intangible that I think we don’t discuss often enough: legacy.

Every year, girls and their families are directly impacted by generous legacy gifts made by people all across the United States (and around the world!). Each person made a generous provision for Plan in their will, but most of them had no idea when Plan would receive the gift, or even exactly how much the gift would be.

They never saw the impact of their gifts, but they have made transformational change. We see their impact, and we celebrate them each and every day.

To the man who wished he could sponsor 100 children through Plan, we say thank you. The gift you included in your will is providing nearly five years of sponsorship programming to 100 children around the world. It is our pleasure to tell each of them about you, and to let them know you cared.

To the couple who didn’t want their sponsored child to lose her sponsorship when you were gone, we say thank you. The gift you included in your trust made sure that she was sponsored until she turned 18. You have given her the honor of knowing that you remembered her as a cherished part of your family.

To the woman who loved the people of Zimbabwe, we say thank you. When you dedicated your estate to benefit the children of Zimbabwe, you made it possible for two new school dormitories to be built. Now, the students living there will have access not only to an education, but also to food and clean drinking water for generations because of your generosity. They have hope for the future because of you.

To the man who loved children, but was never a father himself, we say thank you. When you trusted Plan to decide how to impact the lives of girls with your legacy gift, you transformed the way Plan’s programs are designed and delivered by putting girls in the driver’s seat. We are all better because of it.

These are just some of the stories we hear every day, about people like you who have chosen to extend their generosity beyond their own lives. Their gifts range from a few hundred dollars to a few million, but you can see that one thing remains constant: their kindness and generosity. To everyone who has made a gift to help children around the world through Plan, we say thank you.

Would you like to write your own story of transformational generosity? It would be my honor to support you as you build your legacy. Reach out to me to start the conversation.