Frugal Man Leaves 13 Million To Charity

When Margaret Sheehan, the executive director of Teachers' Treasures in Indianapolis, received a call offering her nonprofit over $1-million, she could hardly believe it. The amazing offer, and more than a dozen more like it, was the final wish of Terry Kahn, who passed away in 2021 at 78. A 30-year Veterans Administration employee known for his frugality, Kahn never had a cell phone because he said they were too expensive. He had no immediate family and chose to leave his $13-million estate to charity, without specifying which ones.

There's no description on how he acquired 13 million. 30 years at the VA, even in a high paying position of say 200k would only equal 6 million before taxes. So he probably received it in an inheritance but chose to not spend it on creature comforts. He told his attorney Dwayne Isaacs that he didn't want any money going to his alma mater Univ of Southern Cal as they have too much money. Just distribute it to some good charities.

Dwayne reached out to various nonprofits in Indianapolis, asking what they would do with $1-million. The responses were of disbelief and excitement. Some organizations even missed the opportunity because they thought the offer was too good to be true. "3 or 4 wouldn't listen to the details of a million dollar offer".

About a dozen nonprofits eventually received a share of Kahn's $13 million estate. Teachers' Treasures, for instance, received $1.5-million, approximately double their annual budget. Kahn's choice to live frugally and donate his wealth to charity has significantly impacted these organizations. Both Sheehan and Isaacs believe Kahn would be delighted to see the positive outcomes of his generosity.

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