Supporters Like You
Jeff Henshaw and his wife, Lori, have been avid supporters of Seattle Humane for many years. Inspired by their first adoption experience, the two became regular donors to Seattle Humane and have provided for ongoing support in their estate plan. In 2001, Jeff founded Tulip Ride, an annual event aimed at raising awareness for animals in need. We recently interviewed Jeff about his connection to Seattle Humane. Here’s what he said:
Tell us a little about your background and love for animals.
Jeff Henshaw: I’m a Seattle native enjoying an incredibly fun career at Microsoft. I have always believed that animals and children are those among us who have no voice, and no choice, in their circumstances. Pets are totally dependent upon people for not just their survival, but for their well-being.
How did you first become involved with Seattle Humane?
JH: Right after my wife, Lori, and I were married, we adopted our first pet. Einstein, the brilliant kitty, was followed by several more pets over the years. As adopters, we saw the incredible work of Seattle Humane staff and volunteers. It felt important to support this vital work, so our family became regular donors. I eventually started an annual fundraising event, Tulip Ride.
What about Seattle Humane inspires your support?
JH: Seattle Humane pursues ideas with broad scope and far-reaching impact. Sending trucks to rescue animals from other parts of Washington and other states, where adoption rates are less favorable, is a great example. The vision of making Washington one of the first “no-kill states” is inspiring. These bold, ambitious ideas naturally draw our family into deeper support.
Tell us why you’ve included Seattle Humane in your estate plan and how that relates to your children.
JH: Our children are our top priority in life. Our goal is to ensure that they get the best possible start in life, and our estate helps make that happen. We also strive to teach them compassion and the importance of giving back to our community. They see that through our current support of Seattle Humane and will see it again when our estate provides support after our lifetimes.
Why should others consider a planned gift to support the animals at Seattle Humane?
JH: Seattle Humane is an incredible place powered by incredible people. Planned gifts help ensure that pets find permanent, loving homes where they’ll bring years of joy. If we can bring joy to this world after we have left it, we achieve something truly incredible.
Jeffrey Karl Ochsner and Sandra Lynn Perkins
Seattle residents Sandra Lynn Perkins and Jeffrey Karl Ochsner represent that rare “grand slam” of support for Seattle Humane: they’re the parents of two cats adopted from Seattle Humane, they are members of the PawPrints Planned Giving Society, and Sandra is a volunteer.
Their involvement with Seattle Humane shows how easily a donor’s love for animals can result in a legacy gift to support Seattle Humane’s important work.
The couple has been supporting Seattle Humane since 1993. In October 2002, they adopted two sister kitties, Summer and Autumn, whose names were inspired by their coloring that looked like the changing leaves of the trees around the shelter. The kitties, now 16 ½, along with their brother, Lionel, adopted from another local animal shelter in 2009, have truly found their forever home with Sandra and Jeffrey.
In 2011, Sandra and Jeffrey made an even greater impact on the future of animal welfare by naming Seattle Humane in their wills and becoming PawPrints Society members.
A year later, Sandra, an estate planning attorney with offices in downtown Seattle, became a volunteer member of Seattle Humane’s Blue Ribbon Planned Giving Council, a group of estate planning professionals who offer advice to Seattle Humane Society on planned giving activities and issues.
“Through my work on the Council,” Sandra says, “I have learned so much more about Seattle Humane’s work, including its Lifesaver Program, which rescues animals from death row at other shelters; the record number of adoptions in 2012; and the partnership with Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine that brings vet students to the shelter for two-week rotations. I’m more impressed than ever before with what Seattle Humane does for the community.”
Sandra encourages Seattle Humane supporters who are considering a deferred gift to consider designating Seattle Humane as the beneficiary of a retirement plan.
“It’s a really effective way to ensure that 100 cents on the dollar goes to Seattle Humane. No taxes are owed when the plan proceeds are paid out, and a lawyer isn’t needed to create the gift. In contrast, when family members are named as beneficiaries of a retirement plan, they may owe both income and estate taxes on the proceeds,” she says.
Leanne Webber, a Seattle Humane board member, sat down with us to share why she believes supporting the animals with a legacy gift is so important.
Q. Tell us a little about your background with pets and your love for animals.
A. My love of animals started at an early age. While growing up, my family had a dog, several cats, gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs. I’m currently the proud mom to two Westies, Zeke and Riley, adopted from Seattle Humane in December 2016. As their photo shows, they are quite the characters and constantly keep me entertained!
Q. How did you first become involved with Seattle Humane?
A. My first exposure to Seattle Humane was through my late mother, Barbara, who was a long-time volunteer. I often visited her when she volunteered on the MaxMobile, Seattle Humane’s mobile adoption and education outreach vehicle. And then we started attending Tuxes & Tails over ten years ago. Inspired by my mom, I started volunteering almost two years ago and joined Seattle Humane’s Board of Directors shortly thereafter.
Q. What about Seattle Humane’s mission and/or work inspires you to support the organization?
A. I love the fact there are no time limits placed on the animals waiting for their new families at Seattle Humane. The staff and volunteers never cease to amaze me in their efforts to find a perfect home for each animal, no matter how challenging the situation. The impact they are having on animal rescue and placement, not just in Puget Sound but across the country, is truly inspiring.
Q. You have included Seattle Humane in your estate plans. Tell us why.
A. From an early age my parents instilled in me the importance of volunteering and charitable giving. I feel that an estate gift is a way I can continue to show my love and support for the animals even after I’m gone. To know that I’m able to support an organization I feel strongly about for years into the future is important to me and my family.
Q. Why do you think readers should consider a planned gift to support the animals at Seattle Humane?
A. Seattle Humane does amazing work, but in order to do that, they need to ensure continued support from the community. An estate gift is an ideal way to show your love and support for the animals now and for years into the future. And as a board member, I know planned gifts are critically important to the long-term sustainability of Seattle Humane.
Tamara Morse truly believes in the advice she gives her financial planning clients—carefully plan for your retirement and your legacy. Her legacy planning includes a future gift to Seattle Humane to support our life-saving work.
She first began supporting Seattle Humane more than 20 years ago. “I have always admired the work that Seattle Humane does to save animals and connect them to people, as well as the care and compassion they give to every animal who passes through their doors.”
The fact that Seattle Humane is funded primarily with private donations was important to Tamara as she considered what her legacy will be. “I believe Seattle Humane’s mission transcends each of our lives. It is my hope that by leaving a legacy through my estate, Seattle Humane’s life-saving work will extend beyond my life.”
Paprika, Tamara’s beloved rescued white and orange-striped kitty, can’t agree more. He too wants to know that for years to come Seattle Humane will be there to save animal lives and find them loving families.
Margery Spears and Mark Stephens
Margery Spears and husband, Mark Stephens, share their happy home with three cats and a dog. They help other animals find happy homes by contributing regularly to the Seattle Humane Society and have listed them as a beneficiary in their wills.
Margery first became involved with the Seattle Humane as an adopter. For the past ten years, she has volunteered at Seattle Humane in a variety of areas. She drives pet owners disabled by AIDS or HIV who are enrolled in the Seattle Humane Pet Project to free veterinary clinics. She’s assisted in the Seattle Humane veterinary services department, and she and Mark also foster cats in their home. These cats typically need a break from living at the shelter or behavior training before being put up for adoption.
Because Margery feels such a connection to these animals, she has notified Seattle Humane that we are listed as a beneficiary in their wills. “I know the Seattle Humane Society does a tremendous job in our community finding homes for thousands of animals each year,” Margery says. “I am happy to support its mission.” Since notifying Seattle Humane about their estate plans, Margery and Mark are now members of the PawPrints Planned Giving Society and will enjoy exclusive activities and events including an annual dinner and behind-the-scenes tours of the shelter.
Seattle Humane relies on individual donors like Margery and Mark whose donations make our lifesaving work possible. Private donors enable Seattle Humane to find homes for more than 100 cats, dogs and small critters each week. Besides adoptions, the Seattle Humane offers a wide variety of training and education classes, provides pet food to low-income seniors through the Pet Food Bank, offers low-cost spay and neuter services to the public, and provides other special services to keep people and pets together.
Your Giving Toolkit
This information is not intended as legal, accounting, or other professional advice. For assistance in planning your gift(s), please consult a lawyer and/or financial advisor for professional advice.