When Barb was growing up in Syracuse in the 1950s, she observed her parents participating in civic and religious organizations while balancing work and home responsibilities. Her father could never say no to a volunteer opportunity. This active community participation and volunteerism were models she learned to live by. At age 13, she participated in her first volunteer service by becoming a youth counselor at a local day camp. That experience helped define her as she later served as an elementary teacher for 36 years.
Over the years Barb served on numerous committees and boards for organizations that she cares about. She loves helping people, and that type of work makes her feel that she is making some kind of contribution to others. Barb accepted support from others when she needed it over her lifetime, and it affected her profoundly. She hopes to do the same for those who find themselves on similar paths.
When her mother passed away in 2004, she began reflecting on her parents’ legacy of serving others and decided she wanted to do something to give back to the organizations that have helped her in her own life. Her financial advisor suggested that we would be able to help her identify and accomplish her various goals. Together, we developed a charitable giving plan and she purchased a life insurance policy, transferred its ownership to the Community Foundation and designated her fund as its beneficiary. Every year she is able to donate her insurance premiums to us as a tax-deductible gift.
When Barb passes away, the policy will fund the BWG Rainbow Fund, which provides support to a cause dear to her heart: SAGE Upstate. SAGE is an organization that provides educational and social support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) seniors. Growing up in a time when LGBTQ lifestyles were less accepted than they are now, many currently in their senior years have little family and can feel isolated. SAGE provides a social setting and resources to connect LGBTQ people with a support system and family atmosphere. After serving many years on the board of directors for SAGE, Barb established this designated fund with us to provide annual operating support to the organization. With the power of endowment on its side, the fund will help SAGE continue to grow and sustain its mission long into the future.
Barb’s philosophy is to live life large every day, contribute to the community and give back to others. She is very confident that when she’s gone, the Community Foundation will carry out her charitable wishes as intended.