Growing up in a small rural Ontario community and attending a one room school with few educational resources, Beverley was determined to change the course of her life. When a friend suggested they apply for university together, she didn’t hesitate; she knew education could be her pathway to a future.
When she enrolled at the University of Guelph, Beverley became the first person in her family to attend a post-secondary institution. She received donor-funded bursary support during her time there, which enabled her to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science degree.
But her journey in education didn’t stop there: she spent the next 30 years working as a secondary school teacher, consultant and principal while earning a Doctorate of Education and Master Laws degrees.
“I loved every minute of my life as an educator,” says Beverley, now 72 and retired. “My education and life as a teacher and principal were a true blessing, which is why I want to give back.”
Setting up an impactful legacy
A couple of years ago, Beverley’s financial advisor asked if she knew about the opportunity to create a personal Foundation now and name charitable organizations as beneficiaries.
“I thought it was a great idea,” she says.
Beverley wanted to find several organizations that would enable her to realize her dream of helping young people –– particularly those experiencing barriers to stability and well-being –– access the life-changing power of education.
Her financial advisor told her about Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada, and she was immediately drawn to the organization’s mission.
“During my career, I worked with many children and families involved with the child welfare system,” she says. “My focus was always on ensuring kids and families had access to the support they needed. So donating to the Foundation seemed like the perfect fit.”
Wanting to create an immediate impact, Beverley set up the Dr. Beverley Lee Foundation. Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s scholarship program is one of several educational charity programs receiving funds. Beverley’s personal Will directs her Foundation to fund these scholarships and bursaries –– ensuring it will be available to generations of young people in need.
“It’s fulfilling to know that what I cared about most as a teacher and principal –– helping young people realize their greatest potential in life –– will be my legacy,” she says.
Building a movement of giving back
Beverley believes that everyone should consider leaving a charitable gift in their Will.
“People think that leaving a gift to a charity in your Will means you can’t also support your family, but that’s not the case,” she says. “You can do both. You can ensure your family will be taken care of and leave a gift to a cause you care about. I always say to people: think ‘and’, not ‘or’!”
As she enjoys her retirement, which includes many travel plans in the months and years ahead, Beverley says her decision to name Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada in her Will has been unexpectedly freeing.
“I no longer have to worry about what’s going to happen after I am gone,” she says. “I know it’s going to great causes –– and carrying on the legacy of a fulfilling career.”
Are you interested in learning more about setting up a gift to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada in your Will? Please contact Jane Durno, Director of Planned Giving, at [email protected] or speak to your financial advisor. You can also find more information about legacy giving on our website.