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Planning Your Generosity

When Virginia Brandon passed away, she had already created a legacy of care that had a big impact on her community. She believed strongly that people living with disabilities should be treated with respect, love and compassion.

For more than 20 years, Virginia served as a program director for Communitas Supportive Care Society, a non-profit faith-based organization providing care to those living with developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, and acquired brain injury. She was instrumental in establishing residences for people coming out of institution to live in community. She supervised the development of Communitas’ services and staff on Vancouver Island, and always reminded her staff that their work was people-centred. She retired at 82.

Virginia Brandon believed that people living with disabilities deserved to be treated with dignity, love and respect.

Today, Virginia’s legacy continues even though she is no longer with us. She left her property and a sizable gift from her estate to Communitas, enabling the organization to move its services on Vancouver Island to a larger, purpose-built space named in her honour, that continues to provide the people-centred services that Virginia believed in.

Karyn Santiago, Chief Executive Officer for Communitas, says that legacy gifts like Virginia’s are much more than a donation.

“Virginia’s legacy gift is an extension of her deep desire to see the good work of Communitas continue beyond her lifetime,” she says. “It’s an investment in the future of the people she cared for.”

Preparing a will or thinking through your legacy giving can fee like a daunting task. On Saturday, October 19th, Communitas will host a free seminar on Planned Giving. The seminar will be led by Brad Friesen, a gift planning consultant from Abundance Canada and John Wiebe, a lawyer with Kuhn LLP who is also a board member of Communitas. Participants will learn the ins and outs of estate planning and maximizing tax benefits through various gifting options.

Brad Friesen, Abundance Canada

“As a gift planning consultant at Abundance Canada it is a privilege and joy working with generous people who want to make a difference in this world,” Friesen says. “In the Communitas seminar, we will discuss developing a Generosity Plan which includes a simple and flexible approach to charitable giving throughout your lifetime and in your estate.”

John Wiebe, Kuhn LLP

Wiebe will make a presentation on the legal considerations and issues involved in the estate planning process. He says that having a plan for one’s estate puts a person in control of what happens to your minor children, your possessions and your legacy when you pass away. Wiebe also indicated that the seminar is not just for retired or elderly people.

“Regardless of age, death is a certainty of life and a structured estate plan can help relieve a significant burden for your loved ones,” he says.

This free workshop includes a continental breakfast and is an opportunity to ask questions.

Abundance Canada is a faith-based charitable foundation that helps Canadians create a customized generosity plan to maximize their support for the charities they care about most, during their lifetime and beyond. Kuhn LLP is based in Vancouver and Abbotsford and provides a wide range of legal services. The workshop is free and there is no obligation to make a donation to Abundance Canada or to Communitas.

“This workshop is offered at no cost. We offer it because we feel it’s important for all of us to plan our legacy,” says Santiago. “As Virginia Brandon proved, her legacy continues to support the people she cared about.”

The Planned Giving workshop happens Saturday October 19th from 9 am – 11:00 am at Communitas: #103 – 2776 Bourquin Crescent West in Abbotsford. This seminar is free to participants. RSVP to Communitas, at 604 850 6608 or email

Call our office at 604 850 6608 or email today to reserve your place in this FREE seminar!