Donor and Volunteer Who Made Community Her Way of Life

Cheryl ThomasEarlier this year, we received notice of an estate gift from Cheryl Thomas. Cheryl learned how to generously be there for others from her parents. As a child, she saw how they often opened their doors to those in need.

Following in her parents’ footsteps, Cheryl helped start Gifts from the Heart foodbank in Coupeville on Whidbey Island 17 years ago. She was also a key volunteer of the Admiralty Head Lighthouse giftshop—a food bank in Coupeville. Through this work, she learned about Northwest Harvest’s efforts to deliver healthy food to 375 foodbanks throughout Washington state.

Cheryl started out as an elementary school teacher and always had a deep love for children. She also spent many years working for Sears Department Store in Phoenix and in the Chicago area. After retirement, she settled in Coupeville. In addition to her love for children, she had a passion for food and became a first-rate cook in retirement. While we were not able to ask Cheryl what motivated her support for food banks and Northwest Harvest, it is easy to imagine that the combination of valuing good food and seeing how children with poor nutrition were affected in her classroom drove her commitment.

Supporting communities is a consistent motivation behind decisions to leave a legacy gift to Northwest Harvest. Support from legacy donors is critical to ensuring food justice in Washington – now and long into the future. Your gift means that Washingtonians – no matter where they live, their race, income level, or country of origin – can sit down to a meal that is nourishing for their bodies and spirits.

Cheryl’s legacy gift is to be funded through her IRA. More donors are remembering Northwest Harvest through their IRAs in their estate plans. Call Anne S. Knapp at 206.390.6094 or anneK@northwestharvest.org with questions about IRAs and estate planning or for a copy of our suggested legacy wording for wills and trusts.