By Cathy Abbruzesse

You and I talked for many years. It was a joy for me to get to know you, and hear about your passion for Basic Rights Oregon. Together, we helped turn the tide on hate here, and made Oregon one of the best states to live for LGBTQ people in our country.

Unfortunately, we both know the work is not done. The same folks who wanted to criminalize gay and lesbian people in the 1990s are still out there, attempting to pass so-called Religious Exemption laws that would legalize discrimination, deny transgender students equality in their schools and attack LGBTQ refugees through anti-immigrant ballot measures.

We’ve both devoted a great deal to this effort, and, if you’re like me, you want to see it continue. Basic Rights Oregon has always looked ahead. They started their racial justice and transgender justice programs in 2009, when other state groups were still solely focused on marriage. They listen to the community, and try to improve the lives of its most marginalized members: transgender people, LGBTQ people of color, those living in small towns and rural areas, and LGBTQ youth.

I’m writing to tell you I’ve made a plan to remember Basic Rights Oregon in my will. I did it because I believe in what they do. I’ve given to them for 20 years, and now my giving–and my values and beliefs–can continue after I’m gone.

I want to ask you to consider making a gift to Basic Rights Oregon in your estate, as well. You can name them in your will or make them a designee to your insurance policy or retirement account.

A planned gift like this is a way to leave a legacy that matches your values. I can envision a future where any person, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or race can live where they choose and pursue the life they want in Oregon, free from discrimination. I know we’re not there yet, but I think making a gift to Basic Rights Oregon in my will is the best way to invest in that dream.

Please consider joining me by making a planned gift to Basic Rights Oregon. To learn more about the program, visit here

Cathy served as the donor outreach coordinator at Basic Rights Oregon for 20 years before retiring in March 2016.