Giving Back to Support Local Healthcare
With long-time careers in healthcare, it is not a surprise that Brian and Pam Allen make it a priority to give not only money, but time to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation.
Brian is a licensed clinical social worker who retired after 24 years as president and CEO of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, a Memorial Health System affiliate, in 2008. Pam, a registered nurse for 40 years, retired from the University of Illinois in 2006. Since that time, she has been on Memorial’s Festival of Trees (FOT) committee, including serving as the chair in 2009. Brian has been on the FOT committee since 2012.
Active donors to the Foundation since 1996, the Allens decided to create a planned gift in 2013. For them, a charitable gift annuity was the best option.
“We decided to do a charitable annuity with the Foundation because it allows us to get some dollars back while we are living and then the principal of the amount goes to the Foundation when we’re gone. To me, you can’t beat that method of giving,” Brian said. “It’s not the kind of gift that realizes immediate impact to the Foundation but over the long run planned giving through annuities is a way to not only retain some amount of income from the original gift, but also to make sure that the Foundation is viable long term.”
Their decision to make a planned gift made them members of the Foundation’s Legacy Society and their cumulative gifts make them a Patron-level donor.
“I support the work Memorial does because I think healthcare is important,” Pam said. “I’ve been on the receiving end of Memorial’s services way too many times in the last five years and I’ve always been pleased with the care I’ve received as an inpatient. We need to support that. We need to give back to the community and ensure that kind of care is available for generations to come. I want my children and my grandchildren to get the kind of care that I’ve had. So, we keep giving.”
Generosity is second nature to the Allens thanks to parents who showed them the importance of supporting others whether financially, through services or even fruits and vegetables from a garden.
“My parents were what I would consider very liberal and involved in the community and generous with their donations. As an adult, I decided to embrace the social work profession which has a long history of working with lower income, impoverished people who are essentially down and out, not part of the mainstream. And that’s true in healthcare,” Brian said. “Memorial made it easy for us to be generous because of the Festival of Trees; MASH, the employee giving campaign; and the ethics of the organization, the notion of serving people in the community regardless of their payor. Whether it’s Blue Cross or Medicaid or Medicare or no pay, it doesn’t matter. You get service and you get the same service and that’s important. So it became easy to support and be generous when you’ve got an organization that encourages it.”
The Allens understand the importance of philanthropy to not-for-profit organizations, like Memorial. They encourage anyone considering a planned gift to contact the Foundation to talk about the various options available.
“There are ways to provide donations that go beyond what someone thinks of as a rich person donating to a foundation,” Brian said. “We’re not rich people. I’m not saying we’re poor either but we’re certainly not rich and we were able to give a donation and have income off it and have some options that I wasn’t aware of early on. It’s important to look at what options there are for you whether it is in-kind donations, time donations or money there’s all kinds of ways to give back to the community and be involved.”