“I didn’t know much about the American Heart Association until I got involved with the (Start!) Heart Walk,” said Steve, a survivor from West Hartford, CT. “Once I understood the association’s mission and how they can save lives, I had a big “aha” moment. I wish I’d known this before. This is something worth getting involved in.” Eventually, Steve became the chair of the Start! Heart Walk and is now on the board of the American Heart Association’s North Central Connecticut Chapter, where he serves as president.
But his commitment to the American Heart Association goes beyond his volunteer work. He and his wife Leesa also created a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRT), using corporate stock. “When we did the trust, we were looking for a way to invest assets for income, gain tax advantages and leave something for charity,” Steve said. When you form a trust with cash, appreciated securities or real estate, you provide an income to yourself or loved ones while making a significant gift to the American Heart Association. You also receive a charitable income tax deduction and avoid capital gains tax on appreciated assets — and you don’t have to be wealthy to participate.