Couple Turns Life Insurance Policy Into a Generous Gift
Michael and Susan Sheets of Wichita, Kansas, recently found an affordable way to give back to Unity —and to create a lasting legacy. Although they've given to Unity in time as well as financially over the past 22 years, they wanted to do more.
"I remember hearing James Dillet Freeman [former Silent Unity Director] say once that the only reason for Unity's existence is that people need it," Michael says. "And that's the bottom line—people need Unity. It was there for us when we needed it, and we want Unity to grow and prosper and be available for any one who needs it."
Michael and Susan learned from talking to their insurance provider that they could convert a million-dollar term-life insurance policy into a whole-life policy payable to Unity.
"We pay the premiums every year, but Unity owns the policy," Michael explains. "We claim a charitable tax deduction in the amount of the premium each year. Then, when Susan and I die, Unity will get a million dollars."
Michael and Susan are thrilled to be able to leave such a large amount to Unity. The couple turned to Unity in 1989, when they were facing challenges. They found peace and comfort in reading DailyWord magazine, and eventually started attending Unity of Wichita.
Their first trip to Unity Village was in 1989 for the celebration of Unity's Centennial. "It was a really electrifying event," Michael said. "We met people who were going through similar things as we were. It was a great healing experience."
Since then, they've contributed to the movement in many ways. Michael has served on Unity's Board of Directors for the past three years. Both Susan and Michael participate in Nehemiah Retreats, spending a week volunteering at Unity Village helping to restore the campus. Michael has attended 11 and Susan has attended 10 of the 12 Nehemiah Retreats, which started in 2008.
As for their giving to Unity, Michael and Susan see it as one way to return the favor. "We really receive so much more than we give," Michael said.