Unexpected donations are very much the ones that hit you in the “feels”. I found this out late last year when Friends of the Koala were the benefactors of a very generous bequeathment from someone who seemed completely unrelated to our organisation or the work we do. It turns out I was the missing link.
Having originally come from Perth, WA, I go back to visit once or twice a year to see my family. Due to my Mum’s habit of bragging to her friends about the work I do and sharing stories and pictures with them quite regularly, my plans in Perth are often filled with morning teas and lunches with groups of lovely ladies eager to know more about Friends of the Koala and details of our organisation & patients, here in Lismore.
One of those ladies was Liz Jeffrey. Liz and my Mum had attended school together as children and reconnected at a reunion some years later. While My Mum had stayed in Australia to raise her family, Liz spent many years in Canada working as a nurse. Liz had always been a kind and caring friend, but it was her sense of humour and wonderful laugh that will always stay with me. On our visits to Liz (who lived in the country) while I was in WA, we would catch up over a cuppa and discuss her biggest love – animals. She was involved in dog rescue group and had a wonderful companion dog “Cassie” who was very much her baby. She respected the work I did and I appreciated her genuine interest as she was a very intelligent lady.
Liz passed away late last year and to everyone’s great surprise, she left a significant sum to Friends of the Koala. I couldn’t have been more shocked or incredibly grateful. It appears that Liz had been reading our newsletters with interest and considered us worthy of her support.
Friends of the Koala has been a source of pride for me since I began work there in 2011. Anyone who knows me will attest I generally won’t shut up about koalas – I never considered that my insistent chattering could result in such a generous gift. I wish I could speak to Liz one more time to express my overwhelming appreciation. What I did get instead was the opportunity to tell my Mum, resulting in very happy tears.
Thank you Liz.
The missing link in the story is our very own Susannah Keogh.
The choice to make a gift in your will is a very personal decision, Liz was obviously very touched by Susannah’s work and stories and we are forever grateful to her. There must be other stories like this one from the thoughtful people who have supported our work by including a bequest to Friends of the Koala. Is there a story you would like to share with us?
If you are touched by this story and would like to leave your own legacy gift we can help you. We promise good stewardship of your donation and to use it carefully in our work. What a legacy you will be leaving just like Liz.