Heather Chisholm-Chait, our featured Oxfam Legacy Circle member, is a worldly woman of sophistication and compassion. She was born in Montreal and lived in Paris and London in the 1950s. Heather came to the U.S. in 1958, married and raised her children in New York City, later working as a real estate broker in Westchester County and, from 1980, in San Diego. During this time, she traveled to some 75 countries! In every respect, she is a woman of the world.
Heather first heard of Oxfam in London where Oxfam - then known as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief - was working to feed Korean War orphans. "Too many of us are insular with little understanding of the dire need in the world", says Heather, citing recent figures that tell us that only 25% of Americans have passports - and that most of these people travel not much further than Canada and Central America.
Partly to explain her deep commitment to famine relief, Heather tells us that her grandfather was a farmer to which she adds, "There is no excuse for anyone to go hungry. There is enough to go around; the distribution of resources is the problem. And now we have to add global warming that is already contributing to enormous 'natural' disasters." Consequently, Heather understands that there will be a continued, if not an increased need for disaster relief funds. Lyrics from Bob Dylan's song that ask, "How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?" ring true for Heather, and help explain why she is grateful for the work Oxfam does.
Two years ago, Heather formed a charitable remainder annuity trust through the San Diego Foundation. Oxfam America is one of five charitable organizations to benefit from Heather's astute and thoughtful planning. Meanwhile her assets in the trust are growing at an average annual rate of 8-10 percent, from which she receives a guaranteed annual payout of 8 percent. For Heather, a charitable remainder trust is the perfect life income plan - providing both retirement income and a fantastic future gift to Oxfam America and other charities that matter to her.
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