Life-changing moments of inspiration can happen at any time. For Philip Thalman, that moment came when he met his good friend’s granddaughter, Willow, nearly five years ago.
Before she was even born, Willow’s family knew that she would face multiple health issues and spend a long time in the hospital. She was named Willow because she would need to bend and be flexible with the challenges facing her. Little Willow has seizures, a weak immune system, severe asthma and Tuberous Sclerosis. She has been in the hospital more than 30 times, including the time she had heart surgery. According to Philip, “Willow thinks the hospital is a normal place to go, like a playground or school. She doesn’t know any differently.”
The most surprising aspect of Willow’s condition for Philip is that, “She is happy all the time. She makes the best out of the worst – give me some of that medicine!”
Philip is now retired. Fortunately, his family is doing well so he wants to help make a difference for Willow and other kids like her. When thinking about who did the most for Willow, he immediately thought of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. “Willow’s desire and happiness – I’ve never seen anything like this before. Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital helped her get to this point.”
Philip decided to name Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Foundation as 50% beneficiary of his 401K. Additionally, he learned about the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Child Life Department’s efforts to host a Homecoming Dance last October for patients. He generously supported that effort and continues to explore other ways to help.
“I needed to take a chunk of what I have and put it towards those who need it the most.”
Philip recently toured the hospital to learn more. He encourages others to do the same. “Willow was my inspiration. You gotta be in the trenches and experience Johns Hopkins All Children’s to understand the story of these kids firsthand – Johns Hopkins All Children’s goes out of their way to help children.”
It’s simple to name a charity as the beneficiary of your 403(b), 401(K), IRA, retirement or other bank accounts. In fact deferred tax plans like these are one of the best assets to give charities, because while an individual would have to pay tax on the assets, a charity does not. Plus it’s simple to set up – no attorney is needed to help you set up this planned gift. Simply go online or call your plan administrator and ask for a beneficiary designation form. You have the option to name a primary beneficiary as well as contingent ones too. Beneficiary designations are the second most popular type of planned gift. It’s a great way to support the charities that mean the most to you.