Wallace, who had no direct descendants, wrote instructions in her will to liquidate her real estate holdings and distribute the funds to various nonprofits. Those include a $250,000 gift made last year to the Mountain View Public Safety Foundation, and a $500,000 gift to the school foundation in Edmonds, Washington, where she grew up.
The new $2 million donation marks the largest gift ever received by CSA, dwarfing any donation made by Mountain View's vaunted tech firms. In a press release, the social services agency announced it would set up a new "Aunt Bette Fund" in honor of Wallace.
It felt appropriate to contribute Wallace's money to CSA, explained her niece Cheri Ryan, who is the estate's trustee. In Wallace's final years, it was extremely important for her to remain in her own home. Many seniors aren't so fortunate, so Wallace's family thought they should direct money to an organization that helps prevent displacement, Ryan said.
"We stepped back and saw how it's getting harder and harder with the cost of living and real estate for seniors to remain in their homes," Ryan said. "We did some research and came across CSA and they seemed like a good organization."
The $2 million contribution is set to be distributed in $50,000 allotments over the next 20 years to help senior clients with their housing needs, such as help paying for rent, utilities and home repairs. This aid would be reserved for CSA clients who are 60 years or older and qualify for low-income assistance. The remaining sum would help pay for CSA service workers.
"So many older adults are getting pushed out of the communities they have lived in for many years. No one should have to go through that," said Tom Myers, CSA's executive director. "This funding truly supports our agency's goal of helping older clients age in place and remain in their homes for as long as possible."
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