Planning for the future, inspired by the past

Apr 11, 2016

What is important to you? Do you want it to be important in the future? Then support it.

This is the advice of Ben Osterhout, member of the Norlanco-Rheems, Pennsylvania, Kiwanis club.

“If you are thinking about giving, just do it!” Ben says. “Whether it’s through a retirement account or insurance policy, or through our foundation as a donor advised fund—there are a lot of different options out there.”

Ben, who is in his early 30s, recently joined the Heritage Society with a planned gift to the Kiwanis International Foundation. His gift is set up as a percentage of a retirement account.

“As that grows, the amount Kiwanis will receive will continue to grow,” he says. “It doesn’t cost me anything right now, and if lifestyle or plans change in the future, it can be changed. But I want it to be there in case something happens.”

He laughs. “I just hope Kiwanis doesn’t get the money for 100 years.”

Regardless of the time frame, Ben has ensured that his generosity will continue beyond his own lifetime. “The impact of my gift is its lasting legacy,” he says. “I want it to be there when I am no longer around.”

As Ben plans for the future, he remembers his Kiwanis-family past—from charter member of his Builders Club in middle school to Kiwanis International Foundation trustee and several positions in between (club president, lieutenant governor and current Pennsylvania district foundation president to name a few).

It all started in 8th grade, with Bus Driver Appreciation Day. He was making a difference at 13 years old—and now, serving with today’s teens when he worked alongside Key Club members during a service project at last year’s 100th anniversary celebration in Detroit. “These were people I had never met, and will probably never see again,” says Ben. “But knowing that we worked side-by-side for the same cause was important to me.”

For Ben, supporting the Kiwanis International Foundation is just part of being a Kiwanian. In fact, he has seen the impact of people’s gifts firsthand. Thanks to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund, his home district foundation received a grant in 2014 to assist with its early-learning initiative, which provides learning guides to families and students. 

“I have seen our impact in communities—especially now, being on the board,” he says. “It’s advanced beyond what the local club is doing. It’s what all of the clubs are doing.”

The Kiwanis International Foundation helps clubs help kids. And generous donors like Ben Osterhout help make it possible.

If you are interested in learning more about our foundation’s planned giving program or the Heritage Society, contact us.