A Gift of Gratitude

December 2, 2019 Providence News Team

A daughter reflects on the legacy of her parents, George and Diane Lee

The shared vision of the Little Company of Mary Sisters and the Sisters of Providence to provide high-quality and compassionate care inspires friends and volunteers in our community. Thoughtful gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations help support our mission by supporting our facilities, providing leading-edge technology and ensuring excellent care for all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

One such gift came from George and Diane Lee, who funded a charitable gift annuity that benefited Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance. Years ago, Diane — a substitute teacher — was diagnosed with breast cancer, had a lumpectomy and then a double mastectomy. Later, she was also diagnosed with bone cancer and battled it for 20 years. Through it all, her daughter, Julie Maher, says her mother “never acted like it knocked her down.”

George worked for an advertising agency and was an artist in his spare time, frequently gifting paintings to show his appreciation to others. “He was extraordinarily talented and was great at painting animals,” Maher says. “It was precious to our whole family.” George lost his eyesight and hearing toward the end of his life, which eventually meant he could no longer paint. 

After her mother’s experience with cancer, the family decided to give back. Since they were a working-class family, they didn’t have many assets but wanted to help in whatever way they could. When they sold their house, they used a portion of the proceeds to establish a charitable gift annuity which provided them with a fixed, lifetime income stream that was largely tax-free, offered an immediate charitable deduction and gave them the satisfaction of giving back to an organization that made such a strong impact on their lives. Diane passed away in April 2018 and George passed away in June of the same year, always wanting to be with each other. 

Rather than viewing the estate gift as a missed inheritance, Maher saw it as a wonderful way to celebrate her parents’ legacy. “Research helped our mother,” she says. “What better place for their gift to go?”

“Generous donors, such as Mr. and Mrs. Lee, help ensure the medical center’s long-term success,” says Joe Ward, executive director of gift planning. “People often think they need to be wealthy to make a charitable donation. This is not the case. Individuals with modest incomes can make a huge difference in the future of our medical centers by recognizing the gift planning options available to them — including options that provide an income stream and tax benefits to the donor.”

The strength of the Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Centers in San Pedro and Torrance is magnified by thoughtful gifts from supporters like George and Diane Lee. We are incredibly grateful for their loving support.

For more information about Planned Giving, please contact Joe Ward,
executive director, Planned Giving Providence Foundations, Southern California Region, at 310-793-8117 or Joseph.Ward@providence.org.

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