A Perfect Christmas Gift for Mom: one donor's story behind her fund
This is a photo of my mom with a “bottle of the best” in 1936. Before Coke renamed their original recipe, my mother was a “classic” all by herself. She passed away this May in her eighty-sixth year, and we are left with cherished memories and the wisdom of a practical and exceedingly resourceful woman, who was full of fun. Hardly a waking hour goes by that I don’t think of her. And my thoughts are more intense as the Christmas season approaches.
Mom delighted in any gift she was ever given. She unwrapped them with the gusto of a six-year-old. If you took the time, as we regularly did, to give her a gift in layered wrapped boxes, each inside of the other, you could count on a nasty stare and being affectionately called a “real shitty-drawers.”
The first present I can remember buying mom was a dishcloth nearly fifty years ago, which I likely purchased for pennies. I am grateful Mom taught me how to appreciate gifts, even a simple dishcloth. She gave far more than she ever received. She also taught me the true joy of giving.
This Christmas, though she will only be with us in spirit, I wanted to buy her something special —and I’ve done it. It’s perfect! In buying it I have created an ever-lasting legacy in mom’s name. I’ve bought an Anne Hohenadel Fund through The Guelph Community Foundation. Please don’t think I must be one of the rich and famous to be able to do this. Not so. I’m just an ordinary citizen who wants to honour an extraordinary one.
And here’s the good news. As with all Community Foundation Funds, the money I gave will be invested. The principal never spent. But the interest from Mom’s fund will be used each and every year forever to provide something The Red Cross can use to help others. It may be a wheel chair to lend, or a hospital bed to replace one that’s seen too many backsides. While the options were many, I chose to direct her fund to the Puslinch Red Cross because mom had supported them and had lived 63 years of her life in Puslinch. Now every year my gift extends her generosity. I can imagine her smiling all the way from Heaven!
This kind of gift is something we all could consider to honour the passing of someone special, the birth of a child, or to acknowledge a lifetime mentor. We could do it in one payment or over time with what most Canadians spend on their daily fix of coffee. We could do it alone, or pool resources with family, friends or co-workers to make it happen.
In case you’re wondering why I’d write this story for the newspaper, I feel there must be others who haven’t thought of this kind of gift. My choice may prompt them to consider a gift that never stops giving. My only regret is that I didn’t think of this earlier when Mom and I could have planned it together. That would have been fun.
Merry Christmas, Mom. I love you.
(Guelph Community Foundation)