” When you give a gift to God you give Him the very best.”
When Ernie and Iris were married and penned their first will in the 1960s they told their lawyer they wanted it in writing that they wished to gift part of their land to allow for the building of a church and a seniors facility. This was problematic for them at the time considering that they didn’t own the land and that Calgary had not grown past the university. This is vision!
Now Calgary is at their doorsteps and once again an opportunity presents itself to realize their vision. Many of us don’t realize these legacies until our final transition and we don’t get to see and experience the good that it does. The Damkars want to live their legacy by gifting this land in their lifetime and watching the new NW Campus of the Centre Street Church be built and enjoyed by all those attend as well as the surrounding community.
Also critical to their vision is the building of a senior’s facility. Ernie and Norman’s father was part of a group that built the first Bethany Care Centre in Calgary and Iris worked in a nursing home as a young woman. Over the years they have seen married couples separated when one becomes sick or as they both transition at different stages through their final stage of life. The Damkars believe strongly we need to change our thinking on how we treat our seniors and allow people to age in place and stay connected to those they love. While this application will come down the road it is equally important to their vision.
For the Damkars it is all about community. They lived in a time where people helped their neighbors. Through their lives they been touched by a number of angels who have helped them achieve what they have today and indeed saved their lives at times. They have worked hard, but they have also been blessed. They have been good neighbors and been the benefactors of much generosity from their neighbors.
For the Damkars this is ultimately about a gift they want to give… in their lifetime. They see this land as a gift to the church, a gift to their neighbors, a gift to the seniors who worked hard to build this community and finally a gift to God. When someone asked them why we would give such a valuable piece of land away… they simply responded when you give a gift to God you give Him the very best.