Michael Haddad and Julia Sherwin have a lot in common. They both came to California from Detroit, they are civil rights attorneys, they share a deep passion for the outdoors and the environment, and the first park that sparked their love for the redwoods was Muir Woods. They eventually saved up enough money to move out to California, which Michael describes as feeling like "coming home." They've since had many more memorable redwood experiences, from the coast redwoods in Jedediah Smith State Park to the redwoods in the Oakland Hills right in their own backyard.
Within a couple of years of moving to the Bay Area, they heard about Save the Redwoods League, and have now been donors for 20 years. When they received the flyer to donate to McApin Ranch, a property 30 minutes from their second home, they felt called to donate. As civil rights lawyers, their work takes a lot out of them mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically, so it's very important to them to get into the redwoods "to clear your soul," Julia says. "Our relationship with the League has been life changing."
So, Julia and Michael chose to make a legacy gift to the League during the Centennial Challenge in 2018. Julia encourages everyone to make a legacy gift because, "when you protect the planet, you're creating a powerful legacy for all of us. The League needs as much financial support as we can get because the work is not nearly done, and it will be there long after we're gone. I awoke at 5 a.m. today to wildfire smoke [at the beginning of the August 2020 lightning-sparked wildfires]. It is incumbent upon us to protect these forests."
Michael reflects on how the issue of environmental protection has become polarized in this political climate. "A healthy environment is necessary for healthy people, but this isn't universally recognized. Money is the biggest challenge—we have the means and the people, we know what needs to be done—we just need to be able to raise enough money to put into these projects. The whole environment is integrated, and protecting the redwoods is only going to make us healthier. When we protect redwoods, we protect rivers, we protect land, and we can't protect redwoods without helping the environment as a whole."
Legacy gifts make it possible for Save the Redwoods League to continue its efforts to preserve the redwoods so generations ahead will be able to enjoy them just as Michael and Julia have. To begin creating your redwoods legacy, please contact Deborah White at 415-820-5828 or DWhite@SaveTheRedwoods.org.
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Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.