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Give to Live: Make A Charitable Gift You Never Imagined

Give to Live: Make A Charitable Gift You Never Imagined

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Give to Live: Make A Charitable Gift You Never Imagined

188 pagine
2 ore
Nov 12, 2018


This is a love story about your finances, taking care of family and making a difference.  Whether you are new to charitable giving or simply keen to improve your understanding of giving and philanthropy, this is your book. It will free you from the haze of the complicated jargon, break things down in understandable terms and share ways to e

Nov 12, 2018

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Give to Live - Arlene Cogen




I grew up on Main Street, conquered Wall Street and, ultimately, returned to Main Street. It was a journey with some very unexpected twists and turns that tested me to my core and allowed me to grow and change in so many wonderful ways. The result is that my mission in life is to help everyone experience the joy of giving and to give a gift they never imagined possible.

It all began when I started my career on Wall Street. I worked for the very wealthy. My mission was to advise my clients, so that their money would grow, be retained, and passed to their heirs. I worked for some of the largest and best banks in the country: US Trust of NY, Citibank, and First Union (now Wells Fargo.) As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)®¹, I had clients who loved getting richer and loved working with me. When I married Mitch Cogen, my clients sent us the most extravagant gifts we could ever have imagined.

In the spring of 1999, I was living in Connecticut with Mitch and our daughter, Alana. It was a busy time. With so many changes happening, we started to reflect on our future. Mitch was working as an HR director while attending law school. He had just one more semester to complete before graduation. I was pregnant with our second daughter. I had preterm labor and was put on bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. My dad had passed away a few months earlier, so my mother was delighted to have something to take her mind off of it and came to stay with us to help.

All of these events led us to a life-altering decision. Neither Mitch nor I had grown up near extended family, and we realized that we wanted our children to have family nearby. Mitch’s older brother Jeff and his wife Lisa were living in Portland, Oregon. They had two young children, and we had a toddler and a new baby on the way. Mitch really wanted to live closer to his brother. We both commented, Wouldn’t it be great to have our kids grow up together? We took a leap of faith. We sold our house in Connecticut, quit our jobs, purchased a new home in Portland, and moved. When we arrived, Abrielle (Abby) was 10 days old, and Alana was 16 months old.

To add to the excitement and change, the move allowed me to stay home with the girls. Thankfully, Lisa became my best friend and introduced me to great friends and wonderful social opportunities. We took turns hosting weekly family dinners together and had play dates with our kids. Mitch still had to finish his last semester of law school, find a job, and pass the Oregon State Bar, but we were slowly getting settled into our new life.

Soon thereafter, Mitch graduated with honors, found a position with a great law firm, and passed the bar exam the first time. Then, Lisa went back to work, and I lost my partner in crime. But, I’d already made many new friends and the girls kept me busy, so things continued to go well.

One afternoon in June, less than 10 months into his new job, Mitch called me from work. It was late afternoon and the sun was shining. I was in the backyard playing with the girls on the new swing set.

Mitch said, Honey, I am going to be home late.


What’s going on, big case? I asked.

The partners have asked me out for drinks, he told me. I think it’s going to be very late before I get home. His excitement was bursting through the phone. This could only be good news. I was so happy and, honestly, not at all surprised. Mitch is the kind of person you want on your team. He is great partner material—smart, hardworking, and generous. I was smiling from ear to ear. This was a great opportunity.

But, when I hung up the phone, something didn’t feel right. I was trembling. Mitch was a shining star at his firm. Lisa had landed a wonderful new job. I was so proud of them, but I was also so jealous. Being home with the girls was a privilege, yet something was missing for me. It wasn’t what I’d expected, and I began to think that it was time for me to go back to work.

The problem was that I wasn’t at all certain what I wanted to do. When I had worked on Wall Street, I was as successful as a woman could be. But, memories of the glass ceiling, sexual harassment, and wage discrimination made me feel exhausted. Things were changing, but very slowly. I didn’t think I could go back to that kind of work. That is when Lisa recommended I see her career coach. She had found her very helpful and, as a result of their work together, Lisa had transitioned from working as an attorney to working as the Director at the Portland Children’s

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