Thursday, July 19

Lady Bird Johnson's $300,000 donation

Claudia "Lady Bird" Johnson passed away July 11th at the age of 94.

Three weeks before her death, the former first lady made a $300,000 donation to St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, Texas. Reverend Richard Elwood told a reporter from News 8 Austin the large donation would help pay off debt and "opens up all sorts of possibilities we can move in all sorts of directions and expand our ministries."

The letter, signed by Johnson, reads: "I feel the time has come for me to repay a part of the debt for the irreplaceable gifts of comfort, strength and abiding faith I have received."

For the last 18 months, Elwood would bring Communion to Johnson almost every Sunday, and even though a stroke had taken her ability to speak, she would participate in the service.
No doubt the relationship between the Elwood and Johnson made the donation possible. But the larger point for me is that too many donors wait to leave large legacy donations in their will. It must have been extremely fulfilling for the former first lady to give the gift while she was still alive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet she lost out on some favorable tax treatment by giving the gift while she was alive.