When Jonathan discovered that he had a strong interest for helping people living in developing countries, he started doing his research in earnest. During that research he read about CARE and was pleased to note that 90 percent of CARE's expended resources go to poverty-fighting projects. As a result, he has been a loyal CARE donor since 1971when he moved to San Francisco, California.
Jonathan Seagle remembers making his first donation to CARE in support of a water project in Ecuador in honor of his parents. He has continued that tradition of honoring different family members through his gifts, often in support of projects in Africa. "I like to give gifts in memory of my family. I like to think that the contributions I make to support the well-being of other people are identified with my relatives."
Jonathan has a preference for supporting water projects in specific geographic areas. He finds that, for a small investment, he can radically improve another person's life. After learning of the genocide in Rwanda, Jonathan has become motivated to support programs in that country. He thought successful water projects would be a good way to bring the country back to life. "In the United States, we take water for granted as a resource. We forget how much harder it is to come by in other parts of the world." Jonathan has now extended his support to neighboring East African countries and recently celebrated his 70th birthday with a gift to support water projects in Kenya.
While he has not had the opportunity to personally visit the projects he has supported, he has enjoyed seeing photographs of the communities that now have access to water because of his generosity. "It's very gratifying." He has also enjoyed hearing reports from CARE employees who have seen the projects he has supported firsthand.
Because of his continued support of CARE projects, when it came time for Jonathan to address his estate plans, he decided to remember CARE in his will. When asked why he made such an important pledge to CARE, he said that he believed that since he had consistently given gifts to CARE during his lifetime, it just seemed natural to give a gift after he is gone. "I like the idea of carrying on the legacy I've established during my life time; to show a continuation of support for water projects."
Jonathan recognizes the fact that today, many people can identify CARE as being a leading organization in developing countries, "I think CARE achieved its greatest fame in the 10 years after WWII with the creation of the CARE Package." In that regard Jonathan offers some advice and a challenge for us to consider: "I would like to see CARE offer more volunteer opportunities for supporters to work in conjunction with some of CARE's programs. It would be desirable if there were formal opportunities for CARE supporters to go into schools and talk about CARE's projects, to try to engage the younger generation. The current volunteer opportunities seem to be focused on advocacy, but most of California's congressional representatives are supportive of CARE's goals, so this does not seem as important as making a younger generation knowledgeable about the work itself and how they can make a difference in other people's lives."
Jonathan will be pleased to know that we are looking for ways to take advantage of his ideas and encourage him to keep engaging us in conversations about how to involve folks like him who want to give of their time and expertise as well as their money.
If you would like to know how you can remember CARE in your will, contact the Planned Giving Department by calling toll free at 1-800-752-6004.