August is Make a Will Month

“What is a legacy?” asks Alexander Hamilton in the hit musical about his life. “It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.” As a relentless advocate for his vision of America, he sings these words while realizing that he may no longer be around to influence decisions. I come back to these lines over and over. They make me hope that, in the face of enormous challenges facing the community today, I too can have an impact.  

If you think you need to be as good with language as Hamilton to plan your legacy, think again! Second Harvest is partnering with FreeWill to make it easier than ever to plan your legacy. Like it sounds, FreeWill will walk you through the process of making a real will, online, for free. They make it easy to plan a bequest to Second Harvest or other local nonprofits – though it is of course not required!

Mike Wilson, our Chief Administrative Officer, used FreeWill to put Second Harvest in his will. “Besides my role at Second Harvest,  I volunteered as a temporary Finance Manager in the aftermath of natural disasters,” Mike shared. “My job was to maintain accountability for the many resources that get distributed in an emergency. When I deployed to Louisiana for two weeks to support Hurricane Ida relief, I was encouraged to make a will. Going into an active disaster area, anything could happen. I had a lot to do to prepare for my deployment, but using FreeWill made it easy to check this item off my list. And since I see the great work that Second Harvest does every day, including them in my will was an easy decision.”

When making your gift, you’ll have the opportunity to direct it to one of our endowment funds if you choose. We invest endowment funds for the long term and use the interest to further our mission. If you want your gift to have an impact for the longest possible time, this is the way to do that! You can choose to support our general operations. Or, by giving to the Thea Ashkenase Endowment Fund for Food For Thought, your gift will support children’s nutrition via school pantries. Read more about Thea and how we became part of her legacy. Or, you can get in touch with us if there’s something specific you want to support! 

Maybe you’ve already made a will, though – good for you! If you’ve designated a gift to Second Harvest some other way, we’d love it if you would let us know! We want to be able to say thank you for considering our work as part of your legacy. 

By giving to Second Harvest in your estate plan, you become part of a special group of donors who have invested in a future of nutrition security and food equity. The problem of nutrition insecurity is bigger than any one of us can tackle alone. But many people and organizations working together make a big difference. That difference is measured in the thousands of meals per day that we provide, and also in the strong systems that we co-create with local partners.

In the musical, Hamilton goes on to say “I wrote some notes in a great unfinished symphony/someone will sing for me.” Whether talking about a song or a garden, he reminds us that great work does not happen alone. Sometimes complicated problems outlast us. That’s why we must give future generations the tools and resources to continue the work. I hope you will consider joining the many supporters who have made a bequest to Second Harvest in their estate plans.