Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation Donor Story

Giving momentum:

How generosity builds over a lifetime

Mary Frances Hill
for Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation

Ellen Peterson’s connections to the hospital run deep—both personally and professionally.

As a long-time member and past chair of the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation board and as the Executive Director of the Langley Division of Family Practice, an organization that represents Langley physicians, Ellen is a passionate supporter of local health care.

Ellen Peterson, Executive Director, Langley Division of Family Practice, is a passionate supporter of local health care. Photo: Double Exposure Photography

“I used to see my grandparents giving small cheques—$10 or $100—and they taught us to acknowledge how fortunate we are compared to so many people around the world.”

Since moving to the community over a decade ago, she’s donated her time and money to the hospital.

This year, she found herself reflecting on the future for herself and her relationship with the hospital.

“Like most people, at first I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just go to an event or give a one-time gift.”

“Then after a while you think to yourself, ‘This is such an important organization; my family uses the hospital and it’s part of my community, so I’ll give a little more and then perhaps I’ll volunteer…”

Ultimately, she chose one more avenue for her generosity: a bequest in her Will, directed to Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

For some, the notion of leaving gifts in a Will might conjure an image of an elderly person dealing with their own mortality. But it’s also part of a sound financial plan, and a natural step forward for donors who choose to build a momentum in their giving.

A legacy gift helps the hospital cover the costs of projects, programs or capital projects from the time the donor passes and well into the future.

For Ellen and her family, this stage of giving is personal, as well. Last summer, she suffered the loss of her father. Memories of his final days after a struggle with cancer are tinged with gratitude for the compassion of Langley Memorial medical staff, who kept the rest of the family updated on his condition and comfort throughout his care.

“At the end of my father’s life, it was so good to know he had great care and that I could go to speak with his doctor regularly. He didn’t have to leave his community. This hospital is such a nice thing for Langley to have and I can’t imagine life without that.”