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A most unique gift | Guest View


Last updated 12/12/2019 at 9:46am

Daniel Johnson

During this season of giving, we all have stories of memorable gifts given and received. In our family, the story retold year after year was given (and abruptly returned) to my Great Aunt Julie from Chicago.

During the family gift exchange prickly Aunt Julie opened the gift of assorted nuts and roared, "I hate nuts! Who wants nuts?"

In my career working in nonprofits, I have seen countless thoughtful gifts large and small that have come in many forms. Recently a first came when the Edmonds Senior Center received 25 solar units purchased and gifted by a local family.

In a nutshell (the very desirable kind) the local family purchased 25 solar panels at the Arlington Microgrid Community Solar Project (a project of the Snohomish PUD). This purchase entitles the family to an energy credit on their electric bill, for 20 years, equal to the value of the energy produced by the 25 solar panels.

This generous family gifted these energy credits to the Senior Center – a very welcome gift.

We do not know if the gift was inspired by the Senior Center's recent decision to go "all-green" (building a full rooftop solar array and an all-electric building to eliminate all fossil fuel) but it was graciously received, nonetheless.

Here are some of the other unique gifts we've received this year. Who knows, one might be a fit or you.

– Multiyear pledges: Many supporters are leveraging their giving by making their gifts over time.

– Memorial Gifts: This is a wonderful way to honor the memory of a loved one.

– Highly appreciated stock: With the added advantage of avoiding capital gains, this is a smart way to give.

– Gifts from an IRA: If you are 70½ years old or older, you can join a growing number of supporters who make a gift directly from their IRA. It may fulfill part or all of your annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your Traditional IRA and it won't be counted toward your taxable income.

– A bequest: Wanting to make a larger gift than they could afford today, a family informed us they have included the Senior Center in their will.

A home: One member discussed the option of donating their home with the provision they could live in the house for the rest of their life. This can be done through a "reserved life estate."

Private loan: Many longtime donors are offering to help with needed short-term capital financing for construction of the new Edmonds Waterfront Center by making a personal loan through Semble – a web-based site that facilitates private lending for nonprofits (www.semble.com/listing/esc). They like the idea of helping the Senior Center while still earning interest on their money.

Clothing and housewares: These items are always needed at the Thrift Store, currently located in Westgate near QFC.

Time: Your time is precious. The countless hours of our army of volunteers allows us to do our vital work. Consider joining our volunteer team.

Daniel Johnson is the Edmonds Senior Center's capital campaign director and project manager.


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