Simon and Fay’s Story
It would be accurate to say UGM supporters Simon and Fay are retired adventurers. “I've had the good fortune of travelling to almost every corner of the world for work,” says Simon, whose career in building materials sales took him all over the globe. “Fay would join me, and we’d spend time together wherever we were: Australia, South America, Northwestern and Eastern Europe, and Asia. We've been lucky to see a great deal of the world.”
The couple, who celebrated 24 years of marriage in December, share a blended family of six children and seven grandchildren. They are entering the quieter, more local stage of their lives together, and are glad to have so many beautiful adventures to look back on. Along with their practice of sightseeing, they share a lifelong tradition of supporting their neighbours in Vancouver. “Fay born here,” says Simon, who moved from England to Ontario when he was two and then to BC when he was 10. “Generosity was part of both of our upbringings: we were always compelled to help out somebody who had less than what we had.”
As a child, Fay helped her neighbours distribute the vegetables they grew in their garden in East Vancouver, leaving extra containers of peas or beans on the front porches of those without easy access to food. That practice of sharing has carried forward into how the couple views their giving in later years. Simon first heard of UGM several decades ago and got involved volunteering with Easter and Christmas dinners, so when the couple sat down to plan their estate a few years ago, they naturally saw the opportunity to continue to invest in the community they care about so much.
“We’ve become Legacy donors in the hopes that we can make people’s lives better,” says Simon. “It’s caused us to pause and really reflect on the needs of the people who are in crisis. Before anyone can get started on change, they need a warm meal in their stomach and a decent coat on their back. We want to make that difference in some people's lives. And if that happens, we'll be happy.”
As they navigate aging and change together, Fay and Simon see giving as a natural outflow of what it means to be a person in the world. “When people ask me about Legacy giving, I say to them that no matter how small the gift is, they all add up together to be meaningful,” says Simon. “It all becomes meaningful in the end.”