Bequest Stories

Sherley White

If you want to protect the lands and waters you care about but cannot make a gift today, you can still leave a legacy that reflects your individual values by including The Nature Conservancy in your will or estate plan. It is easy to make a charitable bequest. And, a bequest allows you to retain control of your assets during your lifetime. It may also provide estate tax savings.

Sherley White made a bequest gift because she wanted to help ensure that the natural places she cherished would be there for future generations to enjoy. Through her estate plans, Sherley left her North Carolina home to the Conservancy. With her generous gift she became a member of
The Legacy Club - a special group of visionary supporters who have chosen to make a lasting commitment to the future of nature.

Her Legacy

Every morning, Sherley White still makes the trip to the Elon University library in North Carolina where she has worked for more than 20 years. She says living through two world wars and the Great Depression taught her the importance of hard work.

“I guess my work ethic is pretty ingrained,” she laughs.

Those years of work allowed her and her best friend to buy a home and an adjoining lot in town—and today her home is her most valuable asset. She is quick to point out that although she is not “super wealthy,” she did find a way to make a meaningful contribution to The Nature Conservancy. By leaving her home to the Conservancy in her will, she can support a cause she cares about deeply.

“I figure that the money from my home will be better used by the Conservancy—they know where it will do the most good,” she says. “And it will do even more good because it is joined with the gifts of many others.”

A native of Indiana, Sherley served for years in the United States Coast Guard and later as an elected Town of Elon official. Although she never had time to be an avid outdoorswoman, she has always taken immense pleasure in nature and in just knowing that it is out there. She remembers how much she enjoyed tending her family’s several gardens with her mother and sister when she was growing up. Today, she lets nature “do its own thing” in her yard. Her wooded property is a kind of oasis in town, full of birds, butterflies and the occasional fox.

“I don’t claim to have been an active conservationist my whole life, but it breaks my heart to see what is happening to Mother Earth these days,” she says. “There isn’t much I can do, but the Conservancy can do something.”

Sherley discovered the Conservancy through a mailing she received and admired its cooperative and positive approach of working with a variety of entities and partners. She became a regular member, but couldn’t support the organization in the way she might have liked. She soon learned that a bequest was a truly simple way to make a donation that would make a difference.

“My contribution isn’t going to change the world, but every little bit helps,” she notes. “It feels good to know that someday, somewhere in the world, a forest will be preserved or a lake is clean because of my donation. I guess that’s why they call it a legacy.”

Information that may interest you ...

Find out more about making a gift through your will.

Have you already include the Conservancy in your estate plans? Let us know! We want to ensure your wishes can be met.

Learn how to name the Conservancy in your will.

You can protect forests and other natural places by making a planned gift with The Nature Conservancy. Contact us today.