Couple leaves legacy through Victoria Foundation

Dan and Maryann Greco have made the decision to leave charitable donations in their wills, coming up with a plan that helps both their family and their community.

“We’re giving a part of our estate to the Victoria Foundation,” Dan Greco said.

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There are simple reasons for the gesture, he said.

“Just to give back to the community, we’ve both grown up here,” Greco said.

He said that both he and his wife are first-generation Canadians “and we’re just thankful.”

“We made a life here in Canada.”

He is of Italian descent and she is Portuguese, Greco said.

The couple, in their early 50s, made the decision to leave money to the foundation when updating their wills.

Their gift is going to be distributed to a variety of charities.

“We have a number of causes that are listed out with the foundation, but mainly the theme is mental health, the poor.”

Greco said the issues have a personal connection.

“We have some mental-health issues close to us.”

And he knows about people in need as president of Anawim House, where he has worked for 1o years. Anawim House includes a residential program for men wanting to get off the streets, and a woman’s program is in the works at another site.

The Victoria Foundation has given support to the facility in the past, he said.

“I see the work the foundation’s done in the community,” he said. “They’re like the glue that keeps our community together.”

The foundation launched its involvement this month in Will Power, a national campaign from the Canadian Association of Gift Planners that is encouraging people to leave charitable gifts in their wills.

At present, just five per cent of Canadians leave such gifts.

Eighty six per cent of Canadians know they can, but most who don’t are concerned about whether they can support their families and charities at the same time when deciding what to do with their money.

“It can be as simple as providing for a small percentage of the client’s estate to be left to charity or more complex, involving designations of life insurance policies or retirement savings plans,” the foundation said on its website.

“Making gifts in wills the social norm is something no one entity can do alone,” the website said. “It requires collective effort – by financial advisors, by lawyers, by charities, and by families talking about it.”

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