Not many will know the legacy of Doris High in our community, in fact, not many may even know who Doris High was. She is part of the faceless numbers of donors that posthumously support safety-net and charitable endeavors that make our community great. She sacrificed financially to ensure that those who come after her will be forever benefitted. You may not know who Doris is or what she continues to do to help those in need, but you will now.
Doris was one of 18 siblings that grew up in rural Pleasant Hill, Ohio. For years she worked for National Cash Register (NCR) and she and her husband, who passed before her, were delightful neighbors, a friend to the schools, and a citizens of Troy for over 30 years.
Doris was a very talented crafter, and was well known for making personalized bears and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls; she sold some, and some she gave away to special young friends.
Doris was like many in our community before she passed away on April 17th. She worked hard all her years, loved her family, and always had a desire to give back to the place she called home. What makes her unlike the masses is the purposefulness in which she went about leaving a legacy. Doris surrounded herself with folks that also made measured decisions about their legacy and, by way of these kind folks, had a portion of her estate left to a fund to support a local nonprofit.
Melissa Kleptz, director of The Troy Foundation, states that a small percent of Troy residents who pass on each year set monies aside from their estates that go into charitable funds that directly benefit a specific charitable organization, multiple charitable organizations or assist in a specific field of interest. This can be accomplished many ways, but the Foundation suggests meeting with them prior to completing your estate plan so that they can ensure that all of your charitable goals are met.
Mrs. Kleptz goes on to state, “working with the Foundation is easy and can add a flexible way for donors to meet their charitable goals and to continue their support of organizations that were important to them during the lifetime, and extend that in perpetuity.”
On top of the ways to leave a legacy posthumously as have been discussed, there are a variety of unique ways to support the charitable organization of your choice today. Charitable accounts are not just for the wealthy. Many forms of giving are completed through existing assets that a donor may already have. For example, the IRA Charitable Rollover was made permanent, and the Foundation has received many gifts from donors that establish a named fund. Distributions can also be made directly to a qualified charity. Donations of non-cash gifts such as real estate and insurance policies are also used by many donors to benefit charitable organizations. If you have questions about these options, check with your financial advisor to understand the benefits and to determine what is best for you.
The reason I go on like this about this, is because the local nonprofit that has been blessed by Doris is none other than Miami County’s own free clinic, Health Partners. Doris had a sibling who had been in great need of affordable medical care during their life, and she had a heart for organizations who made it their mission to provide this kind of care. For this reason, the Clinic will now benefit for many years from this self-sustaining fund.
Now, we’re not talking a lot of money, but every little bit counts, and, in fact, this should be an encouragement to everyone in our community to give what you can. Not to the point of self-destruction, but in the hopes to make tomorrow just that much better than today. You don’t need to be a millionaire to do this. You can start giving from where you are currently. My wife and I have made that commitment personally, and I cannot tell you how rewarding it has become for our family.
As a community, we should make note when a Doris High comes along. Her example should make us question the kind of legacy we wish to leave and what we are doing today to ensure that legacy is made a reality. For, as Ghandi put it, you must “be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
Justin Coby, PharmD, has been affiliated with Health Partners Free Clinic as a volunteer pharmacist since 2007, and was appointed executive director in 2012.