A belief in equality and the right of everyone to a decent life led long-term Oxfam supporter Elisabeth Jackson to include a gift to Oxfam in her Will. We recently asked Elisabeth to share her dreams for the future.
How did you first get involved with Oxfam and what was it that made you make that decision?
I knew about Oxfam from university days when it was known as Community Aid Abroad. It always seemed worthwhile but I didn’t get involved at that stage although I did buy things at the CAA shop in Melbourne’s Elizabeth Street. Later I got to know Graham and Glenys Romanes who at that stage were joint state secretary of CAA and I learnt more about what Oxfam does. I was impressed with their approach which concentrates on underlying reasons for poverty and inequality.
When I was in a position to make a regular donation to charity, Oxfam was my first choice. I started with a small monthly donation and have increased this over the years. When I travel in developing countries I am often tempted to empty my wallet to beggars. I don’t do this, but usually increase my Oxfam donation when I get home.
You have been an amazing supporter of Oxfam through the years. Can you name the number one reason why you chose to support Oxfam?
The approach to aid — not just providing handouts but assisting people to support themselves in the long term.
Why do you still support Oxfam’s work? Is there an area of Oxfam’s work that you are particularly interested in? If so, what is it and why does it interest you?
Oxfam reports back to me regularly on the projects they support. I feel confident that the money is spent efficiently. I am particularly interested in programs which support women.
How do you feel when you read about the work that Oxfam is doing?
I feel proud to support it.
What prompted you to consider leaving a gift to Oxfam in your Will? Why did you decide to include us?
Once my children grew up I realised they would not need all my money if I died suddenly. The $20,000 I am leaving to Oxfam and the same amount for another charity will not make much difference to my children but the charities will be able to achieve a lot with it.
What did you have to do to include Oxfam in your Will? Was it an easy process?
Initially I filled out a codicil form which Oxfam sent and kept it with my copy of my Will. Recently I re-made my Will at the solicitors and included it there. It was easy
How did it make you feel when you included Oxfam in your Will?
I felt glad to be doing something useful with my bequest.
Would you encourage others to do the same, and if so why?
I would encourage them to do the same. Bequests are an important source of funds for Oxfam and enables the organisation to do more to help communities in need.
What would you say to them?
As previously mentioned, a donation to Oxfam does not impact much on family members benefiting from my estate but makes a big difference to Oxfam.
What do you consider some of the key values that you hold dearest?
Belief in equality and the right of everyone to lead a decent life.
What sort of change would you like to see happen in the world in the future?
An end to armed conflict, more equal distribution of resources and less despoiling of the natural environment.
What sort of impact would you like to make on people’s lives through your gift?
I would like it to provide the means for them to earn a decent living and live free from hunger and fear.
If you share Elisabeth’s vision for a more just world, consider including a bequest in your Will to Oxfam.