Another Way I support March of Dimes

Diane Spindel and Andria Spindel

The photo was taken over 9 years ago; my mother passed away on December 25th, 2007. She and I were very close and I still miss her, and most especially when I am with my young adult children and think about all the pleasure they give me, and how much I want to share it with their grandmother. It has caused me to reflect on the many things I want to share, some of which is incorporated in this article I wrote a few years ago. The article was shared with our donors and will be part of our Legacy Newsletter this month. I am sharing it here as another way to bring my mother and her journey into my memory.

“My own mother became disabled when I was only five years old. Perhaps that, more than anything else, has helped me personally understand, in a most profound way, the importance of individuals maintaining their dignity and independence, no matter what the disability. It’s a core value that instructs our every decision here at March of Dimes Canada. This childhood experience deeply impacted my life choices. At age 34, having just started working at March of Dimes Canada, I took the unusual step at that time of making a Planned Gift to 4 charities through the purchase of a life insurance policy, designating the charities as beneficiaries. I understood that it was an inexpensive way for a young person like myself to make a significant difference, to give back in a meaningful way, even though it would only materialize decades later. For me, making a Planned Gift was also a way to honour several of the most important pillars of my life, to formalize these commitments: community, international development, Jewish life, and the inclusion of people with disabilities. It has been my privilege to work at March of Dimes Canada for almost 35 years. While I could not have known at 34, when I purchased my policy, that it would be such a long relationship, I did already know that working with and for people with disabilities was my calling.

Making a Planned Gift to March of Dimes Canada made so much sense to me. During my time here, I have seen the life transformations that come from the services our organization provides to people of all ages and stages of disability. I have met with thousands of people whose lives we have touched, helped to establish programs that address their needs, and seen how advocacy enables change. I have worked with a remarkable team at March of Dimes and know their commitment is a major contributor to the success of the services we provide to the community we serve. I believe in the future of March of Dimes Canada, in the future of an inclusive society and in the benefits of planning now to ensure tomorrow’s important work — and hope that others share these values.

If you have not yet done so, I would encourage everyone to check with a financial advisor to learn more about the benefits of a Planned Gift. In doing so, it’s my sincere hope that you will consider including March of Dimes Canada in your plans. Based on my personal experience, I’m convinced that you will find Planned Giving to be a most rewarding decision.”

Happy 60th Anniversary March of Dimes Canada!

The year 2011 presents another unique and wonderful opportunity to celebrate the success of our organization over many years, and most importantly, the accomplishments of people with disabilities and their pursuit of equity, opportunity and justice.

For 60 years March of Dimes has operated in Canada, first to end the scourge of polio, and then to provide rehabilitative programs for those with severe disabilities. Then in the 60s, we helped organize civil rights advocacy initiatives with people with disabilities. Through the 70s we developed many programs at the grassroots level and by the 80s we expanded our service offerings, funded local advocacy initiatives, trained leaders from the “consumer movement,” and transformed into a regionally organized, but still provincial organization. In 2001, we linked with other organizations across Canada to celebrate our 50th anniversary, and by 2004, we were incorporated as a national charity offering programs outside of Ontario.

Since 2006, Ontario March of Dimes has been in the process of rebranding as March of Dimes Canada and we are very excited that now, in 2011, we have rebranded many of our activities and all of our fundraising. Our corporate board is working on a governance model that will facilitate a shift from being a provincial agency to a national one, but from this month forward, our work will be as one entity, March of Dimes Canada.

So, celebrate many aspects of our history and our future, as the lead community-based rehabilitation organization, strong on advocacy, service and innovative programs. Visit our website frequently for updates on all our activities and allow me to speak with you regularly also.

Best wishes,
Andria Spindel,
President and CEO March of Dimes Canada