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planned giving & trust se r vices SOME PEOPLE—sometimes those with the biggest hearts—spend their lives misunderstood by others. Or at least partly misunderstood. Al Capone was hated for his criminal activity but loved for his charity, such as the soup kitchens he opened in Chicago during the Great Depression and the programs he funded to provide schoolchildren with milk in order to wipe out rickets disease. On a smaller scale, we have Glenn Beck, a right- wing talk show host disliked for his opinions but appreciated by his employees because he matches their charitable donations dollar for dollar. Or recording artist Justin Bieber, both loved and criticized, who has single-handedly granted over 250 wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, all in less than four years. Then there are people like Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, whose personality many find off-putting but who is generous and kind-hearted to those close to him and has given millions to charitable causes. Some people who are viewed or regarded less than favourably by others actually hold good causes dear to their hearts and lend a helping hand in ways that matter and should not be overlooked. Peggy Barlow was one of these people—misunderstood but generous and kind, in her own way. She lived a life of service but made few lasting ties with those she encountered along the way. Peggy was a very private person who lived simply and humbly. About a decade before she died, she contacted Alvin Ram, Planned Giving director at the Ontario Conference, to help prepare her will. Peggy was born in England on June 15, 1920. At age 18 she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service and worked as a writer until 1951. Then she moved on to the New Zealand Air Force, serving as a clerk until 1953. During the next three years she lived in Australia, Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), South Africa, and Singapore before moving to Quebec in 1956, where she hoped to find a husband and settle down. Instead of a husband, Peggy found the Lord. In 1958 she was baptized in another Christian church, and in 1965, at 45 years old, she graduated and became a nursing assistant and worked as such until her retirement. Peggy’s professional path took her to Toronto, where she began faithfully attending the Willowdale church. Fast forward to April 2015. Pastor Glenn DeSilva, Director for Camp Frenda, sat in his office poring over the budget, trying to figure out how to pay for desperately needed new beds for Frenda’s dorms. After the cost of repairing a roof collapse that year, there was only a few thousand dollars left, but it was going to cost approximately $70,000 to replace beds for the campers. Praying for a solution was the only thing he could do. What DeSilva did not know was that Peggy Barlow had answered his prayer—11 years before he prayed it. With no husband or children of her own, Peggy pledged everything that God had blessed her with to the children of Camp Frenda. Peggy died on Nov. 19, 2012, but it took over two years for Alvin Ram, the executor of her will, to settle her affairs. On a sunny day in April 2015, Alvin Ram cast a shadow in Pastor DeSilva’s office doorway. DeSilva looked up in amazement when Ram handed over Peggy’s gift of $65,002.58 to Camp Frenda. While Peggy was no Capone, Beck, Bieber, or Zuckerberg, her generosity and kindness may have been just as misunderstood and overlooked as theirs. And her gift was as important to the children and youth of Camp Frenda as to all the Chicagoans during the Great Depression, Beck’s employees, the children of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the many causes on which Facebook’s fortune has been bestowed. Her story reminds us that we should not judge but rather look for the good, perhaps especially when it is not obvious. n Leah Keys writes from Newcastle, Ontario. Peggy Barlow Eleven Years, One Prayer “Before they call, I will answer; while they are speaking I will hear.” —Isaiah 65:24 Brand-new beds for Camp Frenda’s dormitories thanks to Peggy’s generous gift. M Aug u st 2 016 13