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Giving initiative 'will inspire, uplift and empower Girl Scouts for years to come'

By Norwalk Reflector staff • Dec 16, 2018 at 8:00 AM

The Girl Scouts of North East Ohio will be the recipient of planned gifts as a result of the $1.2 million movement-wide planned giving-challenge initiative by Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder.

Both the national headquarters of Girl Scouts of the USA and 101 other Girl Scout councils across the country will also be the beneficiaries of planned gifts calculated at more than $30 million thanks to the planned giving challenge.

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, said a planned gift “is one of the most deeply personal, profoundly impactful and truly generous gifts that a person can make.”

“Thanks to the inspirational dedication, commitment, and generosity of Dianne Belk and Lawrence Calder, Girl Scouts of the USA and 102 Girl Scout councils across the country can rest assured of their financial ability to deliver a one-of-a-kind Girl Scout experience to more girls in more places for generations to come. Dianne and Lawrence are truly emblematic of what it means to give back and their efforts will inspire, uplift and empower Girl Scouts for years to come.”

The challenge inspired Girl Scouts of North East Ohio to maximize the impact of this generous gift. Throughout 2018, the organization worked to meet the challenge by securing new planned gifts and educating its board and volunteers about planned giving.

In total, eight new planned gifts were secured from generous donors. Each of the 102 councils that met the challenge will receive a $10,000 planned gift from Belk and Calder and an additional $4,000 gift from Erik and Eva Andersen.

A Girl Scout alumna who earned the organization’s highest award — the Girl Scout Gold Award — as a member, Belk is the founding chairwoman of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, which celebrates those who have made a planned gift to Girl Scouts. As a volunteer, she has led the society’s growth from 348 members in 2011 to almost 4,000 members in 2018.

A planned gift is made through a donor’s will or estate plan. Donors who make a new planned gift commitment are welcomed by Girl Scouts to the Juliette Gordon Low Society at pinning ceremonies all over the United States and abroad. More than 600 new, planned-giving donors were pinned due to the challenge issued by Belk and Calder.

“As a farm girl from very limited means and with even fewer options, Girl Scouts was my ticket to exploring the world’s opportunities,” Belk said.

“I owe so much of my success to 12 years in Girl Scouts and the impact that it had on my goals, values and character. I am so grateful. That’s why my husband and I have decided to commit our resources to helping knock down barriers that young women face in achieving equality. There is no organization in the world that is better at preparing young women to become our leaders of tomorrow than Girl Scouts. We are so proud to partner with them.”

Through planned gifts, anyone can ensure Girl Scouts will have the tools to make the world a better place for generations to come. All gifts support every girl in every zip code having access to crucial, life-changing, girl-led programming that will launch her into a lifetime of leadership.

“We are so grateful to Dianne and Lawrence and to the Andersens for their extraordinary generosity. Their gifts are truly transformative for the Girl Scout movement and locally will benefit girls in our region for years to come,” said Jane Christyson, the CEO of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio.

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