Supporting 'magnificent work' with gift annuities

Edwin and Shirley Cohen dream of giving a huge gift to St. Jude just as soon as they win the lottery. In the meantime, the California couple is thrilled to have discovered the benefits of St. Jude charitable gift annuities.

St. Jude supporters Edwin and Shirley Cohen

St. Jude supporters Edwin and Shirley Cohen

“We can’t write six-figure checks, but we wanted to support this very much,” Ed said. “A gift annuity is a really nice way to make a contribution. We liked the simplicity of it: we get income and tax breaks, and when we pass away, the remainder goes directly to St. Jude — no probate or burden for our kids to deal with. A gift annuity seemed like a good benefit to us and to the organization.”

The Cohens keep busy in their retirement, living near their children and grandchildren. Ed, a professor and Korean War veteran, writes a column for a local magazine. Shirley, who worked in counseling and guidance, volunteers, leads a monthly wisdom circle and participates in several study groups. The couple enjoys cruising and following the Bay Area’s professional baseball and basketball teams.

The couple has several charitable gift annuities with St. Jude and other organizations. To Ed, gift annuities serve a dual purpose. “I wanted to make sure Shirley was taken care of,” he explains. “This is a way to accomplish that, as well as further the charitable work we are committed to.”

In 2015, the Cohens visited St. Jude for the first time, after already establishing their first gift annuity. “It was a wonderful experience,” Shirley said. “The visit reinforced our commitment. We did a second CGA after being there.”

“We were so impressed that St. Jude not only cares for the child, but for the whole family,” said Shirley. “That’s so important. The family gets the support they need during such a difficult time.”

Shirley is such an advocate for the mission that the women in her study group decided to send a contribution to St. Jude, a tradition they have continued together each year.

St. Jude is doing magnificent work,” Shirley said simply. Ed adds, “I can’t think of a better organization to give to. And a charitable gift annuity is a nice way to give a larger gift during our lifetime.”

At least until they hit the jackpot.