A “planned gift” can be one of the most meaningful charitable gifts a person can make. But I’ve learned that many people—unless you are a CPA, estate planning attorney, or fundraiser—aren’t really certain how to define a planned gift. In broad terms, a planned gift can provide a donor with financial and/or tax benefits while also achieving their charitable goals. Making a planned gift involves deciding what you want your personal legacy to be, who should benefit, and who you trust to carry it out.

At Swedish, we are fortunate to have many donors each year who decide to include the health care system in their estate plans. When they do, they are electing to make quality health care for future generations part of their legacy. These generous individuals represent a wide variety of ages, financial means, and backgrounds. Some have been supporting the hospital for decades, while others make a one-time gift through their estates as a way to recognize the great care they or a loved one received.

One such donor was Arnold “Arnie” Burland.

Born in the 1920’s to a family of modest means, Arnie was shuffled through many homes around Seattle as a child of the Great Depression. He even spent a few months in the “hobo jungle”, as it was referred to at the time, on 6th and Lander.  Arnie was a pilot, flying bomber missions during World War II, and when he returned he worked in the blueprint business for 48 years. When Arnie passed away in March 2009, he left the entirety of his estate and his Greenwood area home to Swedish Medical Center. But why?

Arnie was diagnosed with cancer a few short years before his passing. With little savings and no health insurance, Arnie stayed three months as an inpatient at the Swedish/Ballard campus, relying on the generous charity care program that Swedish provides to patients in need. He was so grateful for the care he received, that he left his primary asset—his home—to Swedish to provide financial assistance to others who are unable to pay for their care. 

Swedish, and the patients who benefit from this gift, are grateful to Arnie and inspired by the legacy of quality health care he helped to create.

If you would like information on how you can support Swedish and create your own lasting legacy, please contact Lindsay Hopkins at lindsay.hopkins@swedish.org or visit www.swedishfoundation.org/plannedgiving.

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