What Do You Want Your Legacy to Be?

george and connie banner

February 1, 2018 By: JT Pinther Category: SHH News

Fresh baked cookies. A warm, bright home in a cold winter. A couple excited to serve.

“For 40 years, I asked people to volunteer,” George said warmly. “It’s time for me to volunteer now.” A former Lutheran pastor, George dedicated his career to service—he and wife Connie both did. Now retired, giving back has become even more important to them.

Their volunteer service has been as meaningful as it is far-reaching. Connie and George have traveled to many different countries to provide their time and hard work. They’ve helped start and support schools and churches overseas, they volunteered for Habitat for Humanity after the fallout of Hurricane Katrina and much more.

Connie talked about a time she was kneeling on the ground, hand-picking glass and metals out of the dirt because the community intended to put a new playground for kids there. She had to laugh— “It was the only year I could say I picked up trash on three continents!”

Even as their impact extends around the world, their personal mission comes back to home.

“We’ve been involved in donating to food shelves for all of our adult lives,” Connie said. “Why Second Harvest Heartland as far as I’m concerned, it makes more sense than me getting a bag of groceries and not having the right things or meeting the right needs.”

After careful consideration, Connie and George update their estate plans often to reflect the causes they care about most. “We updated our wills and trusts two years ago, and we looked at where we could make the biggest difference. Second Harvest Heartland was one of those places.”

“Second Harvest Heartland has a good track record. Hunger may increase dramatically during next few years,” George said. “We need Second Harvest Heartland.”

Connie and George chose to divvy their estate into three parts. One part for each of their two sons, and a third part for charitable organizations. Second Harvest Heartland is very grateful and humbled to be included.

Some individuals may feel uncomfortable discussing wills and estate plans. It may be an awkward, perhaps unsettling conversation to have. From Connie and George’s perspective, passing away is an inevitable, natural part of being a person. George described his vocation as being a steward: “I start with the premise—we don’t OWN anything. It’s all a gift. So, where do you go from there with that? We could call it grace. What we are, are stewards.”

And that stewardship can live on. When asked what advice the couple would give to anyone considering sorting their estates, George put things into perspective. “You already have a will. It was written by the state legislature and is included in the Probate Code. Are you wanting THEM to decide where your estate goes? You have a will, you just may not have written it.” He added that Prince is a good example. Since Prince had not written a will, it has been up to the State to sort out his estate since his passing—not necessarily in the way he would have wanted. Consulting with your own legal advisor to draft your will and estate plan is the way to prevent this.

“The question is,” Connie said, “what do you want your legacy to be?”

From our perspective, Connie and George’s legacy will continue reflecting the giving, thoughtful people they have always been. Thank you so much to Connie and George for committing to end hunger for the one in 10 of us who is worrying about food today.


Planned gifts reflect and extend your value of helping others, even after you pass away. Learn more about making a difference with your estate.


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