Laurie Besteman included the Washington Women’s Foundation in her will to make an affirmative statement about her faith in the Foundation and the communities it supports. Because she feels fortunate to have led a comfortable life, she feels a responsibility toward those who have not, and has chosen to create a legacy that will continue beyond her lifetime.
Although Laurie’s family was not particularly philanthropic, she has always felt a need to volunteer for and support those causes that are especially important to her. They include education – she served on a school board, volunteered at First Place (a 2008 Foundation grantee), is an avid reader who writes a blog about books, and is a great fan of the King County Library System. As a member of a military family, she moved frequently, and says, “If you have a book, you have a friend. Being a good student mattered to me – a good education is key, and is a leg up for all children.” She supports organizations that focus on women and children, such as the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish, and also feels passionate about the arts, having served for a numbers of years on the ACT Theatre Board of Trustees.
Laurie appreciates how the Foundation harnesses the energy of the collective of strong, relevant, informed women who can make a larger impact than any one person alone, and wants to help ensure that will continue after she is gone. With a nod to Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Laurie says, “The Washington Women’s Foundation lifts up way more than half the sky!”
As Laurie thinks about the future of the Foundation, she hopes the experience will be as meaningful for each and every member as it has been for her. She says she will never stop being a member. By making a gift to the Washington Women’s Foundation in her will, she is able to continue her support for and commitment to an organization that makes the world a better place.