A Surprise Gift

Hester Spaulding

Hester Spaulding was born in Scotland, married an American airman who grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and taught school in Great Britain during the years her husband was stationed there. She also was a woman who loved animals of all kinds.

Like so many servicemen and women, their first taste of the Pacific Northwest came from being stationed at a U.S. military base. For the Spauldings, it was Joint Base Lewis-McChord. When they eventually settled here, they first lived in Ballard, but ultimately choose Magnolia as their community.

In her mid-90s, Hester updated her last will and testament. Having outlived all close relatives, she decided to benefit both an animal welfare organization and Northwest Harvest. Hester obviously was a woman who wanted to ensure that others were cared for in her absence. What was unique was that this was our first gift from her.

We sincerely wished we had an opportunity to thank Hester for her significant support of our mission while she was with us. That is why you often see my little nudges about letting us know you have included Northwest Harvest in your estate plan. We always know and understand that those decisions can change, but we want to thank you for even considering legacy support of our ongoing efforts to ensure access to adequate and nutritious food for all.

These past two years have seen a significant increase in the number of Northwest Harvest donors who have called wanting to include us in their estate plans. At the same time, we've seen a concurrent growth in both qualified charitable distributions from traditional IRAs as well as gifts from donor advised funds. These are all very tax-wise ways of giving, especially for those who do not itemize on their tax returns.