Most of us feel like our assets (or liabilities for that matter) are too small and not worth the time or potential expense of setting up a will and planning for the future. When it comes to our children, we want them to be better off than we were, and have more financial security than we did. The same can be said about our community. For those of us born in East Texas, we can’t imagine a community without a strong network of nonprofits, volunteer opportunities, and charity events just about every weekend (especially in Tyler and Smith County). We are a little biased, but we believe that we are living in the most generous community in all of East Texas!

It wasn’t always that way…

In 1940, a group of leaders decided to form the Tyler Community Chest which would later become United Way of Smith County. Most of the nonprofits you have heard of would not exist in Tyler today if it wasn’t for the visionary leadership of that group in 1940. Their goal that first year was $20,000…Not much in today’s currency! 76 years later, United Way of Smith County has directly put back over 65 Million into our local community as well as helping to start organizations such as the ETX Communities Foundation and others that have been a vehicle for local giving.

As 2016 comes to a close and 2017 is here “ready or not!” what will your legacy be?

This is the year to start thinking about not only how you will make a contribution to help meet some immediate needs, but also an opportunity to start planning for the future. How can we leave Smith County better than we found it? How can we be good stewards of our resources and leave a lasting impact?

One way is to talk with your financial planner and consider including United Way in your will. Leaving a planned gift can accomplish a lot and has a ripple effect that can improve lives for generations to come. 

We wish you and your family an amazing 2017!

AUTHOR: Reece Anderson
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