Commentary: A most unique gift

A rendering of the planned Edmonds Waterfront Center, which will replace the Edmonds Senior Center building.

During this season of giving we all have stories of memorable gifts given and received. In our family the story retold year after year was given (and abruptly returned) to my Great Aunt Julie from Chicago. During the family gift exchange prickly Aunt Julie opened the gift of assorted nuts and roared, “I hate nuts! Who wants nuts?”

In my career working in nonprofits I have seen countless thoughtful gifts large and small that have come in many forms. Last week was a first when the Edmonds Senior Center received 25 solar units purchased & gifted by a local family. In a nutshell (the very desirable kind) the local family purchased 25 solar panels at the Arlington Microgrid Community Solar Project (a project of the Snohomish PUD). This purchase entitles the family to an energy credit on their electric bill, for 20 years, equal to the value of the energy produced by the 25 solar panels. This generous family gifted these energy credits to the Senior Center — a very welcome gift

We do not know if the gift was inspired by the Senior Center’s recent decision to go “all-green” (building a full rooftop solar array and an all-electric building to eliminate all fossil fuel) but it was graciously received none the less.

Here are some of the other unique gifts we’ve received this year. Who knows, one might be a fit or you.

Multi-year pledges- many supporters are leveraging their giving by making their gifts over time.

Memorial Gifts – this is a wonderful way to honor the memory of a loved one.

Highly appreciated stock – with the added advantage of avoiding capital gains this is a smart way to give.

Gifts from an IRA – if you are 70 ½ years old or older, you can join a growing number of supporters who make a gift directly from their IRA. It may fulfill part or all of your annual Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your Traditional IRA and it won’t be counted toward your taxable income.

A bequest – wanting to make a larger gift than they could afford today, a family informed us they have included the Senior Center in their will.

A home – one member discussed the option of donating their home with the provision they could live in the house for the rest of their life. This can be done through a “reserved life estate.” 

Private loan – many long-time donors are offering to help with needed short-term capital financing for construction of the new Center by making a personal loan through Semble – a web-based site that facilitates private lending for non-profits.  They like the idea of helping the Senior Center while still earning interest on their money.

Clothing and housewares – these items are always needed at the Thrift Store. Check us out at our new location at Westgate across from QFC.

Time – your time is precious. The countless hours of our army of volunteers allows us to do our vital work. Consider joining our volunteer team.

Thank you for considering a gift to the Senior Center. We welcome all gifts, large, small or unique. And yes, we love nuts.

About the Edmonds Senior Center

The Edmonds Senior Center (ESC) currently serves approximately 4,000 seniors annually with a broad range of programs and activities. The senior center’s new building, the Edmonds Waterfront Center is under construction and will be built on the same site. The new center will operate as a multi-generational activity center and will serve a much larger demographic in an expanded timeframe. From 8 a.m.-4 p.m. most of the programs will be aimed at seniors and organized by ESC.  From 4-10 p.m. programs for all ages will be offered by the City of Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department. More than $13 million has been raised toward the $16 million goal. To learn more about how you can get involved, contact Daniel Johnson, Capital Campaign Director and Project Manager, at

— By Daniel Johnson












One Reply to “Commentary: A most unique gift”

  1. I just walked the beach this morning, paused in front of the Edmonds Waterfront Center, and was truly inspired by what this facility will offer to our community. Regardless of political leaning, regardless of economic disparities, regardless of gender or skin color, this facility is being funded in part by the heart of this city – it’s people. I love that we’ll have Veterans and their families being served here, I love that we’ll have multi-generational events and leadership events and cooking classes – the list goes on. What I love most is that this facility will represent the true heart of our city.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *