• The Joy of Giving

The Joy of Giving - Elaine Decker's Story


Fifteen years ago, a work colleague suggested I consider getting involved with YWCA Metro Vancouver. On her suggestion, my family and I applied to participate in the Presents of Peace program, and as the story goes, “The rest is history.”

It was challenging and exciting to buy gifts for people we didn’t know, imagining the lives of the mothers and children on our list, to follow the requests without getting too excited by my own ideas and love of books. Shopping, wrapping and delivering our holiday hamper has become our own holiday joy, an annual affair that includes now-adult children and their spouses. We are reminded of our own blessings, and rewarded by being able to share them with our YWCA “families.”

Over the years, we have followed the challenges and excitement of many YWCA projects and programs, like affordable child care, youth education, combatting sexualization, job preparation and stopping violence against women. What particularly excites me is the deeply thoughtful way these programs are developed and the steady awareness that these elements of family life are all connected. I’ve attended panel discussions, presentations, book launches and celebrations, and I always leave with a renewed commitment to support the work of the YWCA to help foster healthy individuals, healthy families and a healthy society.

One specific way to show support is through legacy giving. Knowing that my sons had been well supported by “the Bank of Mom” to establish their own adult lives, I considered how I could help the YWCA more directly. The outcome was the designation of the YWCA as the beneficiary of my life insurance policy. The monthly premium on the policy hasn’t changed, the paperwork for the change was minimal and the feeling is as joyful as taking part in YWCA's Holiday Giving programs!

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