Dreams For The Future: Estate Planning for Friends of Special Olympics
Her grandmother taught her that everyone has value…
Retired special needs teacher and creative arts therapist in the mental health field, Linda-Lee Slesinger has been a life-long advocate for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities. For that, she credits her beloved grandmother, Anna Rosen, who was legally blind, deaf and physically disabled.
"Nothing stopped my grandma from raising four sons and caring deeply for her family," says Linda-Lee. "She inspired me to look at others who were deemed 'different' or 'disabled' the same way I look at myself. Everyone has value. Everyone is good enough."
Vowing to be an instrument of positive change
Linda-Lee also recalls when she was a little girl in elementary school and saw how special needs students were ostracized, kept in separate rooms away from the "regular kids". "I tried to eat lunch with a girl in the special needs class I knew from my neighborhood, but the teacher in charge told me I 'had to eat with my classmates.'"
It was at that moment that Linda-Lee vowed that she would be an instrument of positive change. "No child should ever be separated and made to feel different," she says.
Special Olympics mirrors her values
Linda-Lee first learned about Special Olympics soon after Eunice Kennedy Shriver founded the organization in 1965. "I was so excited to find an organization that mirrored my values, and whose mission tried to make amends to children and adults who had been previously hidden in the shadows and locked away. Special Olympics helps our most vulnerable population by giving them every opportunity to be their personal best and teach all of us to never give up."
She adds that she and her husband, Jeff, included a gift to Special Olympics in their will because it is simply their life's mission: to do good. "I trust that Special Olympics will help someone - probably someone I'll never meet - realize their full potential. Including Special Olympics in our will is our way of leaving this earth better than we found it."
"Including Special Olympics in our will is our way of leaving this earth better than we found it." --Linda-Lee Slesinger
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