Lockheed retiree Robert Tidwell is an avid runner. At age 72 he still runs up to five miles a day.
A few years ago, his Saturday morning ritual after his run included a stop at a local restaurant for biscuits to take home to share with Linda, his wife of 42 years. On many of these visits, he chatted with the restaurant cashier, Mary, a young nursing student.
Robert was very impressed by her ambition to become a pediatric nurse at Children's Healthcare. Robert and Linda were moved by the passion and enthusiasm this young woman had for becoming part of the Children's team to serve our community's kids.
Mary graduated and accepted her dream job as a pediatric nurse at Scottish Rite.
Giving to do the greatest good
Several months later, as Robert and Linda were in the process of updating their wills, they considered where their legacy gift could do the greatest good. Since they didn't have children of their own, they looked to the community for possible recipients whose missions reflected their own values.
Robert had become acquainted with Scottish Rite through the annual freshman rivalry game between Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia benefiting Children's. As a proud Georgia Tech alumnus, Robert attended the games every year and became passionate about the mission of the hospital.
Linda was familiar with Egleston and Scottish Rite hospitals through her years of volunteer work with the Sunshine Foundation, which grants wishes for chronically and terminally ill children. So, naturally Children's was an option to leave their legacy gift. But it was reflecting on the passion and enthusiasm of that young nursing student for her chosen career combined with their love for their native Atlanta community that helped the Tidwells name Children's Healthcare of Atlanta as their beneficiary.
"It's going to give a lot of kids a lot more normal life than they would otherwise get, and in some cases, it will even help give them a life," Robert said. "That's about as basic a need as anybody has."
Upon notifying Children's of their intentions, the Tidwells were offered a tour of Egleston hospital so they could see firsthand what their legacy gift would be supporting. When they arrived for the designated tour, a surprise awaited. Mary had been contacted, told of the Tidwells' plans and was there to greet them.
After a sweet reunion, the Tidwells toured the hospital, speaking with doctors and nurses, seeing patients and facilities, and even visiting the rooftop helipad. When they left the hospital that day, Robert said, they felt very good about leaving their legacy with Children's.
"It's not something we need right now," Robert said of the money they plan to leave to Children's. "I believe it would make a bigger impact at Children's than any other place I can think of."
Contact Mary L. McCormack at 404-785-9481 or Cell: 706-540-2885 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can make a lasting difference like the Tidwells.