Cindy Alley and Cynthia Hill consider themselves average people who have worked hard and saved. But when they entered their 50s, they began thinking about their legacies. They have no children and only one nephew, so they wanted to include charitable gifts in their estate plan. After researching several local foundations, the couple chose to partner with The Dallas Foundation.
"The Dallas Foundation was so responsive and helpful," Cindy said. "They offered guidance and suggestions on how to best accomplish our goals while making the most impact."
Cindy was born in West Texas and raised in North Texas; Cynthia is a Fort Worth native. They met when both worked for Southwest Airlines in the late 1990s, Cynthia in advertising and Cindy in human resources and recruiting. They share a love of art and an innate sense of wanting to care for the most vulnerable.
When Cindy's grandmother was in her 90s and moved to a Dallas nursing home, they coordinated with other relatives to ensure that someone visited her every single night of the eight years she lived there. During this time, however, they recognized that many people have no one to look after them this way. Caring for seniors became one of their priorities.
"My grandmother left a legacy for us about how to live your life," Cindy said. "Her legacy was kindness and laughter. Taking care of her was a gift."
Olive, a lively terrier mix that greets visitors to the couple's home, was rescued by Cynthia from along Harry Hines Boulevard, when she spotted a police officer tending to the pup and her wounded sister. Cynthia made an immediate trip to the veterinarian with both dogs, found a home for the sister and claimed Olive as her and Cindy's own. That event further opened their hearts to the needs of unwanted or neglected companion animals.
Cynthia and Cindy worked with The Dallas Foundation to develop a planned gift that reflects their desire to promote animal welfare, support disadvantaged women and children, and help the elderly. They said they were pleased that Dallas Foundation advisors took the time to help them explore their charitable interests and discuss meaningful giving strategies.
The couple has started considering additional ways to give, such as opening a donor advised fund. And they want to take advantage of other opportunities such as serving on one of the Foundation's scholarship committees.
"I had the misconception that you had to have a lot of money or be prominent in the community to give," Cynthia said. "But the message to me is that anybody can give. It's just having the mindset of giving."