It was serendipity that helped Wendy and Dan Marinaccio Husman discover Greenbelt Alliance, but a deep connection to our mission that led the couple to make our organization a beneficiary of their estate.
When Wendy discovered Greenbelt Alliance during a job search a few years back, she and Dan fell in love with our vision of a sustainable inclusive Bay Area. They soon became monthly donors, because they wanted to help “create the community that we all want to live in.”
“When I get cynical and frustrated about what’s going on in the world, I think about what Greenbelt Alliance is doing” says Wendy. “And I’m relieved to know that Greenbelt Alliance is doing this important work right here in the Bay Area.” That local focus resonated deeply with Wendy and Dan, especially when they thought about what the region’s future could hold.
Dan had seen the impact of sprawl first-hand while growing up in Minnesota’s Twin Cities region, and felt that while “The environmental cost of sprawl [is] the most obvious…there is also the cost of community.” With no sidewalks or public spaces, the bedroom communities where Dan was raised provided little human interaction and even less feeling of neighborhood togetherness.
Dan came to appreciate the value of real neighborhoods while living in San Francisco and Berkeley, delighting in the mix of shops, parks, homes, jobs, and transit. More importantly, he quickly came to love the vibrant communities that are born from these dynamic environments.
It was those communities that inspired Wendy and Dan to include Greenbelt Alliance in their estate. Anticipating the birth of their daughter, Daisy, the couple decided it was time to make a will together. “It would have been irresponsible not to,” says Wendy. “We finalized the document 36 hours before Daisy was born!”
Despite the seemingly frenzied timeline, making the switch from monthly donations to planned giving was a no-brainer. “It’s people like us who are putting together their will for the first time who should be thinking about charitable giving in their estate planning,” says the couple. As they looked towards the future and considered the life they wanted for their little girl, they knew helping us build better neighborhoods meant Daisy would be part of the dynamic and welcoming Bay Area community.
According to Wendy, it’s our regional approach that truly differentiates Greenbelt Alliance. “I appreciate that Greenbelt Alliance thinks about the Bay Area as a whole and encourages everyone to make long-range decisions. It’s really difficult to do but it can actually make a difference.”
You can join Wendy, Dan, and our Jack Kent Legacy Society donors by including Greenbelt Alliance in your will. Your commitment will help sustain the work of Greenbelt Alliance to both protect the Bay Area’s natural and agricultural lands from sprawl development and to create thriving neighborhoods in our cities and towns.
To give through your will, trust, retirement account, or other vehicles, please contact us here.
Photos: Taylor Hanigosky