Barry’s lasting legacy to ‘do unto others as you would have do unto yourself.'
We are, undoubtedly, the lucky country. Barry Sogood had his share of luck throughout the years. He’s overcome cancer and survived a stroke. He’s taught himself to walk again, and regained his ability to speak with the help of a speech therapist. Yep, Barry’s been lucky indeed – and he knows it.
Maybe that’s why he’s persevered as an advocate for philanthropy, dedicating his time to helping those with very little. Or it might be his Catholic upbringing and his strong faith. To this day, Barry vividly remembers his dad telling him to ‘stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.’
And that he has. Born with a natural affinity for training horses, Barry gained a reputation as a horse whisperer from a young age. He’s worked with well over 100 horses, rescued them, trained them and rehabilitated them. Over the years, his reputation as a professional horse trainer went “from strength to strength,” he says, and many of the horses he trained and rescued went on to win many races.
But upon retiring and moving to Brisbane, Barry found himself living in Annerley and surrounded by people in need. Humanitarian refugees from Africa, people just starting to rebuild their lives after surviving war, famine and worse, were struggling to support themselves.
Of course, after dedicating a lifetime to rescuing horses, Barry couldn’t ignore the immense human need around him. He resolved to do what he could, and went about helping them in whatever way he could with his own money.
He later connected with St Vincent de Paul Society, and continued to support people in need in his local community by collecting and redistributing unsold baked goods from bakeries, and providing transport to families at his own cost. Recognising the immense support this provided to newly arrived refugees, St Vincent de Paul provided a fuel card to Barry so he could continue to help people get to their appointments throughout Brisbane.
Barry’s dad always told him to “do unto others as you would have do unto yourself.” It’s what he’s lived by to this day, and it’s why he’s given so generously of his time helping refugees build their lives in Australia. And it’s a legacy he wants to continue into the future, so he has entrusted a bequest to St Vincent de Paul Society.
Around Queensland, the Society supports over 265,000 people every year, through crisis and every day trials. Barry has peace of mind knowing his gift will be put to use helping families and individuals, just as he himself has done so generously. Thank you Barry, for all that you’ve done to make a difference and for the charitable spirit you’ve shown in choosing your legacy.
Creating a legacy for current and future generations
Ray and Jo Scanlan were successful business people who wanted to share their success and make a lasting impact on the lives of young people experiencing disadvantage. They were passionate about supporting struggling families who wanted to give their kids a Catholic School education but were unable to pay for all the expenses.
Their vision to make a difference in the lives of young people is alive and well today thanks to the Children’s Education Fund. The fund was established in 1988 with the Scanlan’s generous bequest of $250,000.
Their bequest was placed into a special fund which preserved the initial capital and distributed proceeds from the interest to assist children and young people each year.
With Year 12 completion rates for kids from lower socio-economic backgrounds still lower than for students from higher socio-economic backgrounds, additional support to encourage young people through the final years of school is critical. Research shows school completion increases a young person’s likelihood of continuing with further study, as well as entering the workforce.
The Fund has grown significantly since it was established. Along with additional funds from the proceeds of other estates, generous donations from the public and grants from Vinnies, it now supports students from diverse backgrounds and across educational levels from Prep to Year 12. The fund has helped provide essential resources for students in today’s world – laptops, iPad’s, subject levies, uniforms and more – easing the pressure on parents who need to pay up front school fees.
By the end of 2017, the Children’s Education Fund will have assisted over 780 students with back-to school expenses and other essential resources. An additional $252,500 has been raised to help make this a reality, due to the efforts of Vinnies members on the Sunshine Coast.
Marion is leaving a gift in her will so her dream of helping the homeless lives on
Marion is a strong woman. She is 76-years-old, still enjoys working part-time, and can powerlift 90kg. She has set weightlifting records in Australia and continues to train for future competitions. She is also passionate about helping the homeless.
Marion follows in the footsteps of her father who was actively involved with Vinnies throughout his life. “My husband Morgan was also interested in Vinnies and used to give money,” said Marion.
“He left a bequest to Vinnies in his will and a few other charities. I’ve decided that I too will give a bit of my estate, whatever’s left to the St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland.”
As a long-time supporter of Vinnies, Marion trusts that her donations go to those who need it most. “Vinnies has a lot of volunteers and low administration costs, which is important to me,” she said.
Marion is grateful for the life she’s had and wishes to continue to help others after she’s gone.
“I often think when I put my head on the pillow at night, that there are all these people that haven’t got a bed to sleep in, and use newspaper for blanket.”
“Sometimes you’ve got to step back and think how lucky we are to have family and friends, and a roof over our heads.”
Peter is Leaving a gift in his Will because he wishes to continue helping those in need for Generations to come
For more than ten years Peter has volunteered with St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland. On Mondays he helps the homeless, or those at risk of becoming homeless at the Spring Hill Support Centre. On Fridays he volunteers as a phone operator in the Brisbane Call Centre, putting those in need in contact with essential support services.
While it can be difficult at times, Peter finds volunteering with the Society very rewarding.
He has seen first-hand how providing compassionate support can make a huge difference for people facing hardship.
Peter is a quiet, unassuming philanthropist. For him, “giving is just something you’re supposed to do”. In addition to volunteering his time and donating regularly, Peter has remembered St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland in his will. Peter’s generosity will help restore hope for those in need for generations to come.
Vinnies Queensland have honoured Marion and Peter’s dedicated support to the Society with acknowledgement membership in Frederic’s Fellowship – a community of like-minded individuals.