Laura’s story: Leaving a legacy of hope

After a horrific car crash in 2017, I suffered severe depression and a traumatic brain injury. My whole life came to a standstill, and it’s taken me years of work to recover.

I’m still recovering, and I’m one of the lucky ones. My children were grown, and I had health insurance and a good support network.

I know not everyone is so fortunate.

My journey wasn’t easy, and I still have difficult days. But, when things were at their bleakest and I wasn’t sure if I would ever have a semblance of my old life back, I turned to my faith.

I had a chat with God, and I said: “If I can get through this, I will give back to the mental health community.”

I did make it through and have been giving back ever since.

I am honoured to be a Board Director for Coast Mental Health Foundation. I’m privileged to hear about the life-saving initiatives the Foundation helps fund at Coast. Programs like Peer Support Training, the Young Adult Program and Cognitive Remediation—are all funded by generous supporters.

As a donor, you are the key that opens the door to recovery and the path towards a fuller and richer life.

I can’t imagine what the world would look like without Coast, and because I’ve chosen to leave them a gift in my Will, I won’t have to. By choosing to leave a legacy gift, I’m making sure that Coast will be able to help generations long into the future. Should they ever need it, Coast will be there for my grandchildren, their grandchildren and so on.

Choosing to leave a gift in my Will was an easy decision for me. I value the work supported by Coast Mental Health Foundation, and know that my legacy gift will ensure Coast will be there for future generations. It was also an easy decision for me because I’ve worked in fundraising for over 20 years, so I’ve seen first-hand the impact a legacy gift can make.

Over the years, I’ve come across a number of myths that tend to scare people away from making a legacy gift. I wanted to bust some myths and help you make the decision:

Myth 1: Only really wealthy people leave charitable gifts in their Will

Fact: No gift is too big or too small. By including Coast Mental Health Foundation in your Will, you are creating a lasting legacy for people living with mental illness in British Columbia. Every dollar donated helps to open the door to recovery  for one more person. Plus, your impact may be even greater than what you thought possible when you make a gift through your Will.

Myth 2: I’m too young to start thinking about legacy giving

Fact: I’m neither an accountant nor a lawyer, but if you own a home, have a car or any other form of property, you have an estate. After my car crash, I realized how quickly things can change and how important it is to make sure your wishes for your estate are clearly outlined.

Having a Will and designating beneficiaries gives you peace of mind. You are assured that your values will continue to live on and generations to come will be able to benefit from the essential services provided by Coast.

Myth 3: Once I designate a charity in my Will I can’t change it

Fact: It’s recommended that people update their Will when they experience a significant life event, such as a marriage, birth of a child, a death or divorce. A simple update, or a Codicil to a Will, is fairly easy and inexpensive.

Myth 4: Leaving a gift in my Will is complicated and expensive

Fact: Most legacy gifts are simple and don’t cost anything extra when preparing your Will. Staff at the Foundation can also help you with the specific language you need to use in your Will or Codicil. They’re also happy to help answer any of your questions.

If you believe everyone has a right to secure housing, healthy meals, and the supports and services needed for a life beyond a mental illness diagnosis, join me in leaving a gift to Coast Mental Health Foundation in your Will.

For more information on legacy giving, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Meghan at or 604-785-1910.

Recent News


Your donation to Coast Mental Health Foundation provides essential housing, support, and employment services for people with mental illness so they can find their meaningful place in our community – a place to live, a place to connect, and a place to work.



* indicates required

We take your privacy seriously and will carefully protect your email address.