I have loved the outdoors since I was a kid and I’ve been blessed to visit many national parks with my own children. But there is one evening in particular I will remember for as long as I live.
My partner, Wayne, and I visited the Grand Canyon National Park. On a beautiful fall evening with not a cloud in the sky, we visited the amphitheater on the South Rim. There are very few places where you can get a panoramic view of a true wonder of the world . . . it was so beautiful.
As night fell, it felt like we were in a planetarium looking up at every single star that ever existed. They surrounded us in every direction. It was so quiet and so peaceful. I sat near the rim, feeling grateful to be able to share this experience, and contemplating the true vastness and beauty of our universe.
These are the kinds of memories I think we all have from our visits to national parks. For me, it all started with days spent with my family at the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, weekends camping with my cousins at the Current River, and camping trips with my Girl Scout troop. There was plenty of beauty in southern Missouri to nurture my appreciation for nature.
So, I knew that once I had children of my own, I would introduce them to wondrous mountains, rivers, lakes, wildlife and all that the outdoors has to offer. Every time we visited a new park – from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, to Glacier National Park and more — they added new Junior Ranger badges to their collections.
I support the National Park Foundation because of these special moments . . . because of that night under the stars. I want my grandchildren and great grandchildren to be able to have experiences just as wondrous. Each park is unique, and they teach us so much about geography, history, and wildlife . . . they even teach us about ourselves.
To deepen my commitment to the National Park Foundation, I recently decided to create a charitable gift annuity which will also provide me income in my retirement. I had some stock that I’d owned for about 35 years. By donating it to the Foundation, I am able to support the parks I love while also receiving tax benefits and future income payments.
I’m planning to retire soon, so a charitable gift annuity was a really smart option for me at this time. But the best part is how good it feels to think that I play a small role in ensuring that families can take in the night sky at the Grand Canyon for decades to come.
See inside or contact us to learn more about how you too can create a charitable gift annuity through the National Park Foundation.