Nicholas Bellows, Jennifer Paquet, Amelia Bellows and Juliette Bellows.
When Jennifer Paquet and her husband sat down to talk about drafting a will after having their second daughter, the young couple realized that it was an opportunity to not only take care of their children’s future but also leave them with a legacy of giving.
“We wanted them to know that philanthropy and giving back were part of who we are,” says Paquet, who graduated from McGill University, where she met her husband, Nicholas Bellows, before starting a career in fundraising.
“I knew all about planned giving, but like many others, thought it was something people thought of when they were older and had more assets. After sitting down and talking about it, we realized that even if we couldn’t give a large amount through a bequest, we could make a gift that was significant to us and we could use it to transmit a message of our values to our girls.”
Both Paquet and Bellows also knew of Centraide at the time, but neither one of them realized how much the organization actually does in Greater Montreal. “I was pretty blown away,” she says.
“I was impressed by how they go into each neighbourhood, identifying the needs and investing strategically, doing their due diligence with all of the community organizations.”
Centraide is a charitable organization that fights poverty and social exclusion and supports over 350 agencies and collective projects in Greater Montreal. They address the various dimensions of poverty in vulnerable and marginalized communities and tackle the development of inclusive living environments—both aid in implementing strategies to break the cycle of poverty.
“When choosing Centraide, I had a lot of confidence in knowing they have been a key actor in our community for a long time and will be there for the long-term helping to address the most pressing needs of people facing poverty and social exclusion. We have so much faith in the organization, and we know that it’s going to help such a broad range of people in our communities,” she adds.
“It’s the perfect marriage of our views, as a couple.”
As for the process itself, it was surprisingly easy.
All Paquet and Bellows had to do was inform their notary of their decision to leave a lasting gift, and that was it.