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Partner in Trust - Rita Marchi

Rita MarchiFor more than 60 years, Rita Marchi has been knitting sweaters and other cozy items for her husband, family members, friends and herself, but it's only been the past six years that she also has been knitting sweaters for friends of the four-legged kind.

Rita's idea for her designer dog sweaters came when the owner of the dog bakery she frequented commented that she liked the sweater Rita was wearing, which she had knitted for herself. The owner suggested that she make dog sweaters and said that she would sell them in her store. Rita had become aware of Guide Dogs of America several years before when she read about the school in a magazine. A long-time owner and lover of Labrador Retrievers, Rita started to make donations to the school. She knew that she would donate 100 percent of what she made from the sweaters to GDA . It was a perfect fit!

Over the years, Rita has knitted and sold more than 50 sweaters, which start at $25 depending on the size of the dog and the detail of the design.

Rita's husband, who passed away four years ago, shared her love of Labs and was very supportive of his wife's commitment to the school. Together, the couple owned five Labrador Retrievers. Her husband was impressed by her ability to bring together the talent she began developing at the age of four and her love of dogs to make a difference in the life of blind individuals by supporting GDA.

"I have owned several Labs. I know what it takes to train them, and it's a lot of love and patience," said Rita. "Labs are the kind of dogs that want to do something; they want to help. Both the blind person and the dog benefit from the incredible work of Guide Dogs of America. The dog gives its partner love and devotion, which he gets right back from the blind person to whom the dog has given a life of greater independence."

Rita has turned a lifelong hobby into a warm and loving gift, both for the lucky dog that wears one of her creations and for Guide Dogs of America.

Rita's love for Labs and her commitment to GDA inspired her to become a Partner In Trust. As a result, Rita's contributions to the school will continue through planned giving to extend beyond her lifetime.

For information about becoming a Partner in Trust, please contact Rhonda Bissell at 818-833-6432.

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Guide Dogs of America a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I, [name], of [city, state, ZIP], give, devise and bequeath to International Guiding Eyes, Inc., dba: Guide Dogs of America located at 13445 Glenoaks Blvd, Sylmar, CA 91342 [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to GDA or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to GDA as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to GDA as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and GDA where you agree to make a gift to GDA and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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