“People shouldn’t be so shocked to hear about making a bequest,” says Jackie Bechek. “When you’re nearly 60, it’s not a big deal to have a will. You need to be realistic and you need to have things in place for the future.”
Jackie, a long-time JF&CS supporter, recently surprised us by including the agency with a very generous gift in her estate plan. She is part of a growing trend of younger individuals and families who are crafting estate plans to include charities like JF&CS that are meaningful to them.
“The only way for organizations that you believe in to continue is to put your money where your mouth is and make a bequest so you can be surethat they can continue,” adds Jackie, who first connected with JF&CS several years ago through friends who volunteered in the Lauren & Mark Rubin Visiting Moms® program.
Soon, Jackie became a volunteer Visiting Mom herself.“I love the program,” says Jackie. “Every single young mother could use it. I certainly could have used it when I was a young mother – my mother didn’t live nearby.
“I think every city in the country should have it and that’s why I continue to support it, because I feel that the strength of that program should spread to other cities, and now I see that it’s already spreading to Tel Aviv, Australia, and Ukraine.It seems so obvious – it’s not technical, it’s not difficult. It’s just being there for somebody and that’s just what young mothers really need because it can be so isolating being a young mother.”
Jackie’s connection to the Visiting Moms program became so strong that she also joined the advisory committee for the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support (CERS), which is responsible for early parenting groups like Visiting Moms within the agency. She became a valued supporter of the annual JF&CS Women’s Breakfast, as well.
She had been a volunteer Visiting Mom for more than five years when Jackie separated from her husband and, through a twist of fate, moved to Greenville,South Carolina in 2012.
Although Jackie no longer lives in Massachusetts, her commitment to JF&CS has not diminished. Last year, she flew from South Carolina to Boston five times to attend CERS committee meetings. “If you make a commitment, you have to be there,” she remarks. “If you believe in a cause, you have got to do the work.” Jackie also points out that she and her family have always been involved in Jewish social service organizations. Both her mother and mother-in-law were social workers at Jewish Family Service of Metro Detroit, each for more than 30 years.
In choosing to include JF&CS in her estate plan, Jackie notes that it was a natural fit. A strong supporter of many charities, including Brown University and Milton Academy, she included them in her estate plan, as well. “I don’t think it’s fair to put the burden of deciding which charities to support on my children after I’m gone,” she notes.
“We are so grateful to Jackie for her legacy gift,” says Wendy Wilsker, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement at JF&CS. “As a Visiting Mom, Jackie understood the importance of the early bond between a mother and infant. The support she provided literally planted seeds for the parent-child relationship to blossom. By including JF&CS in her estate plan, Jackie is again ensuring a strong future for generations of families.”
“JF&CS is always working so hard to raise money,” Jackie adds. The work JF&CS does is phenomenal. It’s life changing for people. I want this to continue beyond me, beyond [CERS Founding Director] Peggy Kaufman. I really want it to be part of the next generation, too. Everybody could use a JF&CS.”