Giving Back

Dinah Schnitzer

Dinah Schnitzer with her sons Adam and Andrew BlumbergE

Almost 30 years ago, Dinah Schnitzer’s two sons, Adam, 30, and Andrew, 27, were both diagnosed with congenital conditions of the digestive system when they were infants. As a result of the expert care they received at Texas Children’s, Schnitzer became a generous supporter.

“I’m fortunate to be able to give back to the hospital that has given so much to me,” she said. Not long ago, she made Texas Children’s Hospital the beneficiary of one of her life insurance policies.

“If people knew how easy it is to use your life insurance policy, they would do it. I’ve had this policy forever, and it makes such a wonderful gift,” said Schnitzer, member of the Abercrombie Society and 2000-2003 member of Children’s Circle of Care.

Both of her boys required kidney, bladder and stomach surgery, and while Andrew’s condition improved after just four procedures, Adam continued to need regular surgeries and treatments up until he was 18.

“We lived in Room 685. We’d go every six weeks, and the people at Texas Children’s were always wonderful to us. Adam walked out on his own every time we left, when so many children there couldn’t,” said Schnitzer.

“Adam is alive today because of Texas Children’s,” she added. In addition to her planned gift of life insurance, Schnitzer has made numerous outright contributions to the hospital since 1995. She even had a house built on a lot she owned and donated the proceeds of the sale to the Gastroenterology department to help fund treatment and research being conducted by one of her sons’ physicians, George Ferry, M.D., chief of Texas Children’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic and professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.

Schnitzer said she is lucky to have both boys here in Houston. Her family owns and operates King Koil Sleep Products, where she works along with her son, Andrew. Adam owns his own company, Truistics Software. She also said she looks forward to being a grandmother soon; Andrew and his wife, Natalie, are expecting their first baby in March.

“To look at my two sons today, you’d never know they had been sick,” said Schnitzer. “Texas Children’s was just super to us—and for us.”

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Texas Children's Hospital 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 Texas Children's Hospital [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 Texas Children's Hospital 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 gift 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 receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Texas Children's Hospital as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and receive an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction. 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 Texas Children's Hospital 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 Texas Children's Hospital where you agree to make a gift to Texas Children's Hospital 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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