A childhood hospital stay inspires $1 million in gifts that pay income for life

Joy Kooley

Joy Kooley

One of Joy Kooley's earliest memories is the time she spent in a children's hospital to have her tonsils removed. She doesn't quite remember how old she was or how long she stayed, but what she does remember is the kindness of her caretakers. She also recalls how thankful her parents were that they had somewhere nearby to take their child when she needed emergency care.

"That's why I give back," Joy says, now 95 years old. "My mother couldn't afford it, but I still had a place that took good care of me. I think every child deserves to have that."

Joy was born in California but has been a proud South Sound resident since the late 1930s. She and her late husband, Gerry, married in 1939 and lived in Tacoma to raise their two daughters, Ginny and Gretchen. Joy worked as an elevator operator for some of the most well-known buildings in the city, like the Rust Building and the Washington Building, and Gerry worked for the City of Tacoma.

Once they retired and after Gerry passed away in 1992, Joy started thinking about what she could do to leave a legacy that would better her community.

In 2000, she decided to create a charitable gift annuity to support Mary Bridge Children's Hospital through Mary Bridge Children's Foundation. It was the first of what would eventually become seven separate annuities, two of which were made for her daughters.

The Mary Bridge programs Joy chose to benefit through her gift annuities include vision and hearing, child abuse intervention, oncology, speech, emergency services and caregiver education. In total, her seven gift annuities and other various donations will add up to more than $1 million to help support Mary Bridge patients and families for years to come. Her incredible generosity makes her a valued member of two MultiCare Foundations donor clubs: the Legacy Circle and Sterling Circle.

"I wanted to be able to give back to the little ones who need it in Tacoma because that's where my children were born," Joy says. "I just want to help make them a little bit happier and healthier."

How does a MultiCare charitable gift annuity work?

A charitable gift annuity is a unique gift that qualifies you for an income tax deduction and fixed income for one or two lives. At the end of the annuity, the remaining amount supports the MultiCare program of the donor's choice — allowing us to provide high-quality patient care in our community for generations.

The annuity rate is determined by the age of the annuitant. For example, if a donor, age 66, chooses to create a $20,000 gift annuity for herself, she'll receive a payment rate of 5.2 percent, which gives her $1,040 each year for the rest of her life, and she qualifies for an income tax deduction of $7,047.

Payments can start right away, or if a donor wants the annuity to start at a future date (like a retirement date) they can create a deferred gift annuity. The longer the payments are postponed, the higher the payment rate.

For free, no obligation information about gift annuities and other ways to support MultiCare programs through a will, trust, retirement policy or other legacy gift, contact our gift planning team at 253-403-3093 or plannedgiving@multicare.org or visit multicarelegacy.org.