Karen Reed has a larger-than-life personality and the laugh to go with it. Venture to ask for her thoughts on legacy building in life and at YESS, and her mood will turn reflective, with comments sure to be full of candor and characteristic passion.
Karen’s Giving Story
I’ve always understood the “why” of my working at YESS. There is an undeniable ebb and flow to the daily dynamic and culture that touches the lives of so many. You can see it very clearly—how we each at various times come to play a small or a large part in the weaving of a youth’s life story. We’re all helping in our own way to create this incredibly rich legacy. It’s so important to touch a life, to share your heart, and to live well!
My charitable giving has become more focused over time on a few particular causes close to my heart. From my perspective, time and treasure run parallel to each other. And so, it’s important to me that I support organizations that work in tandem with my personal vision and values. I have a real love and respect for local grassroots charities, not typically found to be in the spotlight, doing a variety of great work for the community. I have been both a volunteer and a monthly donor throughout my entire tenure with YESS. I see the far-reaching, inspiring, and hugely consequential impact of a donor’s support on young lives. Each time I see one of our youth at YESS making strides in their life because they have the critical supports that they need, I am so grateful that YESS is there to be the gift of hope they need.
About 5 years ago, I met my wills and estate lawyer. Working together, I was guided through the estate planning process. I had my will drawn up and YESS was named in my estate. This was a very important step for me, both in my personal planning for the future and for that of Youth Empowerment & Support Services. This legacy gift was an opportunity for me to deepen my commitment to an organization I trust and deeply respect. It’s a great source of satisfaction and peace of mind knowing how greatly the youth will benefit from what may be the most valuable gift I ever give.
In the face of so many critical circumstances and challenges faced by the youth, I am always in awe of their resiliency and strength. It has been amazing to me when I realize how many people I know who accessed YESS when they were teenagers, survived deeply challenging and difficult times, and who are now uniquely successful persons in their own right. I am proud to honor their courage and fortitude and to support futures that will be shaped by their time spent at YESS.
Is YESS already in your will or other estate plans? Thank you! Please let us know about your plans because it helps YESS plan for the future. Call 780.468.7070 or email Eileen Papulkas in our Development Office and she will add your name to the Legacy Society. Your gift may remain anonymous, if you so wish.
Don’t have a will? You’re not alone! Now is a great time to start planning, and please consider including a bequest to YESS in your estate plans. Contact Eileen for suggested “bequest language” and YESS’s charitable tax number for you to share with your attorney.
Shelly K. Chamaschuk, is a Barrister & Solicitor with Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP. Her practice focuses on corporate/commercial matters, business and succession planning, estate planning, including Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Personal Directives, family trusts, and estate administration. She is their firm’s Wills, Estates & Trusts Team Lead. Shelly kindly agreed to write a guest article for us. For more information on Wills in Alberta, read her article “Do I need a Will?”