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What gives your life meaning?

January 23, 2020

It is funny how we all start to think about our lives and how we go through difficulties, time of clarity, confusion along with joy and excitement. Yes, our lives hold rich meaning as we unfold our purpose of living. However, what really motivates you to do your best in everything in YOUR life?

Years ago, Krista McMillen decided to be a teacher. She found that it was a good place to learn, grow, and express herself. As Krista evolved in her teaching career, she found that she really wanted to reach out and help children with exceptionalities and their families as they struggled learning in her classroom. This greater purpose aligned with what turned out to be a deeper passion and commitment to research and promote student mental health. “As a learning resources teacher or a student support teacher, it means that I am the biggest impact on these kids and their education and how they can contribute to the workforce and society.”

As a classroom teacher, you have an impact on children one maybe two years, but as a learning resources teacher Krista realized that her teaching influenced her students and their families for a lifetime. Krista fulfilled one of her purposes become a bigger inspiration for Saskatchewan classrooms with the funding from the McDowell Foundation.

I constantly question my own Life’s Purpose and Legacy. Legacy Giving simply stated is the process of an individual planning to facilitate a gift to a charitable organization covering the full spectrum of generosity by individuals now and for the future. What does your Legacy look like? Have you ever thought about the future of education for Saskatchewan’s children by supporting the McDowell Foundation’s endowment fund? Let me back up. Do you know the ancient Greek proverb, “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit”? That is what I mean; a Legacy can take on a meaning specifically for you by planning and creating your own Legacy in advance of your passing. It is a hard subject to think and talk about, but it is also an important topic to fulfill your life’s wishes after you are gone.

Legacy Giving is honouring a loved one by using the value of your donation dollars, small and large to help make a difference with the McDowell Foundation in your Will. Legacy Giving is people, people from all lifestyles and income levels. People like you, who want to and are making a difference in the world. People like you would want to leave a Legacy you will never see, but will help add “tomorrows” for our future Saskatchewan students.

Bequests are one of the most popular planned gift tools. They are gifts made through Wills that an organization receives after the death of the donor and usually one of the easiest to make, costing you the donor nothing during your lifetime. If you are considering a Bequest gift in your Will only takes a simple designation, and this provision can change at any time. It is easy to include in a new Will, or added to an existing Will through a simple amendment or a codicil.

Planned Giving is a way to make an impact and grow a meaningful Legacy, both for yourself, and for the McDowell Foundation, in ways that you likely had never imagined. It is a way to build a more secure future for yourself, your loved ones, and research in Saskatchewan students through The Foundation. Is the McDowell Foundation already in your Will? Thank you! Please let us know about your plans as it helps the Foundation plan for the future.

If you would like more tools to your Legacy Planning, our website offers some guidance on Bequests, Life Insurance, RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, and Real Estate. Visit where the Foundation accepts gifts of many different kinds. For gifts of a more complex nature, we highly recommend always having conversations with your family, lawyer, financial advisor, or accountant. If you have any questions, want to talk about our Legacy Society or would like to know more about remaining anonymous, you can reach me 306-373-1660 or at by email

Thank you to all of our donors that help us inspire and support many worthwhile research projects. We deeply appreciate the generosity of our donors and funders and encourage you to join our on-going support for teacher-led research in Saskatchewan. You support allows us to continue funding teacher-led research projects like Inclusion for children with exceptionalities; Reconciliation; Developing sense of belonging through land based-education; Practicing anti-racist education and more. Each gift makes a difference! Your Legacy Gift will continue to be a transformative gift for our future students.
–Colleen Ostoforoff