For four generations, Ruth Stanger's family has been involved with Hebrew SeniorLife, either as residents, volunteers or both. The tradition began with her great-grandmother, who was a resident at HSL’s original home in Dorchester, and continues now with Ruth herself – she’s a resident of NewBridge on the Charles. "They took such good care of my family," Ruth recalls. "I want to give something back."
Ruth and her late husband, David, created a charitable trust to benefit HSL. David was a Trustee for Life and deeply involved with HSL. Following his death in 2007 from a rare neurological disease, Ruth redirected the trust to benefit the Aging Brain Center at HSL's Institute for Aging Research. "David's disease was terrible, and I'm very interested in research that could prevent this kind of suffering in others," Ruth says.
The trust was created from appreciated stock, which would have triggered capital gains tax had the Stangers sold it. The gift to Hebrew SeniorLife brought tax advantages, but more importantly, it will have a lasting impact on life-changing research into the conditions of aging, and an organization that has been a big part of the Stangers’ lives.
"Hebrew SeniorLife is an all-encompassing solution to aging, housing and health care. It's the answer to living well while aging," Ruth describes. Since moving to NewBridge, she's been impressed by the on-site services and amenities, and the number of activities organized on- and off-campus. A life-long artist, Ruth has taught art classes at NewBridge.
"I don't know of any other organization whose complete goal is to improve the quality of life for people who are getting older," Ruth says. "I think it's really remarkable, and I'm pleased that David and I can help an organization that's made such a difference in the lives of our families.