My name is Shirley Soehn. I am writing to share with you why I am leaving a gift in my will to Shepherds of Good Hope.
I consider myself very fortunate. I have always had a home, plenty of food, and enough money to support my family.
I haven’t experienced any great setbacks in my life, such as a disability or an abusive relationship. All in all, I’ve had a wonderful life. So when I retired, I decided to spend some of my free time volunteering.
As a result of my volunteer work with the homeless, I have seen firsthand just how difficult life can be when you don’t have the means to provide food, shelter and/or clothing for yourself.
Many of the homeless people I meet have a mental illness, live with a physical challenge or come from an abusive home.
Often, this is compounded with drug and/or alcohol abuse. From my perspective, I do not believe it is possible that these individuals will be able to get off the street and get a job without someone’s help.
It is just far too hard to begin a better life when you start with absolutely nothing.
I have decided to leave a legacy gift for several reasons. First, it reflects my values.
I believe we are here on this earth not just to help ourselves and those closest to us, but also to help others.
For me, the others are the homeless, the most vulnerable, who need our help.
Secondly, I want to show my children that giving is an admirable thing to do. Hopefully they, too, will do the same for a cause that is important to them.
Finally, I am doing it just because it feels good to helps others.
I also want to share why I chose Shepherds of Good Hope.
For me, just providing food, shelter and clothing is not enough. I believe there are homeless, who given the additional help of supportive living and life skills training, will one day be able to contribute to society.
Some might only be able to help with tasks such as cleaning or cooking, but others might be able to eventually live independently and keep a job.
Shepherds of Good Hope has several supportive living facilities around the city for the homeless and it continues to find innovative ways to give people their dignity back.
I am leaving a legacy gift to the Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation because I have seen how they constantly adapt to meet the needs of Ottawa’s poor.
I see how they meet men and women where they are at and without judgment.
While I don’t know exactly when they will get my gift, I am confident it will be used to make a significant difference.
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