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Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a legacy for children and families

~ By Shannon Hobbs, Freelance Writer and PEPS Group Facilitator

Celia and Cypress
Celia and Cypress

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Your support ensures that no parent will be turned away from a PEPS program because they can’t afford it, and helps PEPS maintain and expand its programs to reach more parents.


Volunteers are an extraordinary part of PEPS - mothers & fathers deeply rooted in the PEPS community and passionate about supporting new parents.


PEPS groups bring new parents together to connect, share, learn and build critical support networks during the earliest days of parenting your new baby.

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When her daughter was born nine years ago, Kimberly McDonald decided to try out a group called PEPS. Sometimes, something happens at just the right time in your life. As it turns out, this group was the beginning of a journey that would lead Kimberly and her husband, Chuck, to make a donation that most don’t even realize is possible. While updating their will, they decided to name PEPS as a beneficiary, allowing them to leave a gift for other children and families.

It all started when Kimberly arrived at her first PEPS meeting holding her three-week-old baby. She couldn't wait to meet other new moms. “A lot of my friends were having babies but they all lived far away,” Kimberly explains. “I don’t remember where I heard about PEPS, but somehow I signed up and got the call that my group was starting.”

As with many PEPS groups, it was a room full of new babies and lots of new baby questions. Kimberly’s own daughter, for example, wouldn't take a bottle early on, and later she kept taking off her diapers. “Someone in the group came up with the brilliant idea of cutting the feet off of her footy pajamas and zipping them up in the back. I tried it and for the first time, my daughter slept with her diaper on.”

Kimberly’s group continued to meet on and off for a couple of years. They took walks and hosted barbecues so the dads could meet as well. As her baby got older, Kimberly decided to volunteer her time and co-lead a PEPS group to provide other families the same support she’d received.

“When I facilitated, I encouraged the moms to socialize outside the group, to take walks, to go out for lunch. That had been beneficial for me and helped my group make strong connections.” Kimberly led two groups before becoming pregnant with her second child. Many in her original group were also having second babies, so they formed a smaller “second baby” PEPS group. They even invited others in the neighborhood to join.

“The kind of information and support you receive in these groups is not available on the internet. You are surrounded by a group of parents you can trust.” With two children, it was harder for Kimberly to find the time to lead groups. So, as a family, they decided to contribute financially to PEPS instead.

“PEPS played a significant role at a critical transition in our life,” explains Chuck. “By being in a group, volunteering, and getting to know other families, we experienced first hand the importance of this organization. As a volunteer you see where the money goes and what the needs are.” Instead of giving small amounts to every single organization that sent a request, Kimberly and Chuck chose the few that had personal significance. Without hesitation, PEPS was an organization they chose to donate to on an annual basis and joined the PEPS Sustainer Circle.

As new parents, they also knew it was time to update their will. While speaking to an estate planner they were asked, “Do you want money to go to charity?”

“We knew in that moment,” Chuck said, “that it wasn't “do” we want our money to go to charity but “who” do we want to give to. Who had made an impact on our lives, on our children's lives?”

While more than eighty percent of people make charitable gifts in a lifetime, only six percent leave a legacy. Kimberly and Chuck know the impact PEPS can have for new parents. They experienced it personally with their own two daughters. In talking to her friends around the country, Kimberly realized no one had neighborhood support groups like PEPS. “This is a model that should grow nationwide,” she says. Chuck adds, “But it is a model we support regardless. We trust their vision and the decisions they’ll make moving forward.”

For non-profits like PEPS, individual contributions make a lasting impression. They cover 52% of PEPS’ operating costs and allow all parents, regardless of ability to pay, an opportunity to participate in a PEPS group. “Resources are scarce at non-profit organizations,” says Kimberly, “and other families can benefit from the gifts we leave.”

Through this legacy gift, Kimberly and Chuck ensure that PEPS' mission will be sustained far into the future for all families in our regions. They provide a chance for other parents to attend their first PEPS meeting. And perhaps, something will happen at just the right time for someone else.

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