This is the late Margaret Raw. She passed away on February 22 this year – though her legacy will live on thanks to her decision to leave a gift to VMCH in her Will.
We weren’t the only organisation Margaret left a bequest to. Seventeen friends and family members and 14 other charities were the recipients of her generosity.
September 7-13 is Include a Charity Week aimed to encourage more people to think about leaving a gift in their Will to a cause that is important to them.
You may be surprised to know that over the past five years, more than $3.5million has been given to VMCH in bequests to help fund our programs for older people, children and adults with disabilities, carers, and people at risk of homelessness.
“Many people do not have means to give to charities during their lifetime,” said VMCH Grants and Bequest Officer Sandra Rosano. “A Gift in your Will is a way of saying thank you to an organisation that meant something to you in your lifetime.”
Margaret’s relationship with VMCH began when she first started paid employment. Each day she would walk past our former Villa Maria School for the Blind in Kew and decided to donate some of her pay to the school. From there her interest in VMCH grew.
“When I visited Margaret a few years ago she reflected that when she started following Villa Maria, they cared for babies and now VMCH cares for the elderly and she was impressed with the expansion and progress of the organisation,” said Sandra.
Margaret led a full and independent life before she passed away at age 88. She was a well-respected teacher and member of her community and church in Werribee. Sandra described Margaret as “a remarkable woman with an incredible sense of humour who led a humble and meaningful life”.
“She didn’t live to see the restrictions or lockdowns of the 2020 pandemic but certainly experienced her share of hardship. She was born in the Great Depression, was a child of seven at the start of WWII, and just a teenager at the end of the war.”
Having no children nor ever married, Margaret’s life and legacy is one of giving.
Before she passed, Margaret said: “For over 50 years I have followed Villa Maria Catholic Homes’ tremendous expansion and diversification into the fields of multiple disability and care of the frail aged, and I felt I would like to help in that work when I am no longer here. It was a very simple process to have a bequest inserted in my Will and it gave me great satisfaction to do so. I strongly urge everyone who is in a position to do so, to do likewise.”