To be completely honest, writing this letter feels a bit intimidating. I can’t help but think you might not know me at all, and you might wonder why on earth I’m sharing this. Plus, I’ve never been one to seek attention or the spotlight.
Yet, a dear friend recently reminded me of something truly important: by sharing my story, others might be inspired to embrace a life of generosity, just like I’ve experienced. So, here I am, putting my reservations aside, hoping my words can make a difference, no matter how small.
While you might not know me, if you’re reading this, we likely share something very special in common: We both love Cassia communities.
I’ve been a resident at Valley View Village since 1991. That’s right, 32 years! You might not live in a Cassia community or have as many years as me yet, but I’m sure you share my gratitude for the incredible community, wonderful staff and the opportunity to live as independently as possible, with a little extra help as needed.
My connection here is a family affair. In 1963, local churches saw a need for a Christian elder community. My parents joined the effort and helped make it happen— they donated generously to make Valley View a reality. Eventually, they needed it themselves. They moved in and made it their home. Years later, both my brother and I followed in their footsteps.
In 2009, I realized I wasn’t getting any younger and I ought to get my will in order. I felt the best, most beneficial place to leave my estate was the place that has been my home and the most influential part of my life—Valley View Village. I remembered all that Valley View has meant to me—and not just me, but my whole family. I decided I wanted 100% of my estate to benefit Valley View.
It brings me great joy to know my investment will allow future generations of elders to experience the same joys and blessings I’ve cherished. I want you to experience this same joy. You can make this kind of investment in the Cassia community of your choice. You don’t have to give 100%—you can do whatever is right for you! Whether large or small, by including a gift in your will, you can continue to support a place that has been important in your life.
If you include a Cassia community in your will, I encourage you to let them know! You can do that by completing this confidential survey. This will help ensure your charitable intentions are understood and carried out as you wish.
In my 32 years here, I made new friends in the auxiliary group, singing favorite hymns in the choir and through lively discussions at Bible study. My neighbors became friends, and friends became family. By including Valley View in my will, I got to imagine residents far into the future sharing this experience.
I know I was a little reluctant to do this, but I’m glad I didn’t let it stop me. Valley View Village has been a cherished home for my family and me, and I know there is a Cassia community that holds a special place in your heart. Thanks for reading my story and considering joining me in living a life of generosity.
With gratitude and warm wishes,
Norma Pennington (with assistance from my dear friend Carol)
Donor since 1991
P.S. I’ve been told if you live a life of generosity, you’ll live longer. And look at me—I’m 101 and I’m still here!
P.P.S. Including a gift in your will can be easy. You can use this sentence: “I bequeath [dollar amount or percentage] of my estate to [Community name].” My attorney and financial planner made sure it was added.