From Repairing Talking Book Machines to Making a Gift

A Perkins student reading braille.

Edward MacLean's gift will help future Perkins students learn braille.

Longtime Perkins volunteer Edward MacLean is 94 years old and lives on a golf course in Lehigh Acres, Florida ("Hole 3, par 5," he says). Although he's thousands of miles from Perkins' Watertown, Massachusetts campus, Edward stays connected to Perkins through the charitable gift annuity that provides him with regular payments. In exchange, Perkins will receive the remaining principal upon his death.

"I like receiving the income," he says of the annuity that eventually will provide a significant gift to the school. "Perkins has been around for a long time, and I feel they are reliable. I trust them."

A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Edward attended college for two years and then served in the anti-aircraft artillery during World War II. Following his military service, he worked for N.E. Telephone, eventually rising to the position of foreman. He met Hilda, his late wife of 57 years, and his involvement with Perkins began at the phone company. "Some employees belonged to a volunteer group called the Pioneers," Edward recalls. "The fellows in my group repaired the talking book machines for the Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library. So I became a Pioneer too."

He has fond memories of how Perkins expressed its gratitude. "Perkins would thank the volunteers by providing a pleasurable evening of programming and dinner," Edward says. "We got to share an evening with not just the other Pioneers but with all Perkins volunteers."

Eventually digital players replaced the talking book machines, eliminating the need for Edward and his fellow Pioneers, but Edward and the school stayed in touch. After reading about the gift annuities program in a Perkins publication, he contacted the school. Setting up the gift was simple. "The Perkins people I deal with are very knowledgeable and helpful," Edward says. "Perkins does good work, and they need help to do that work. So help if you can."


When Edward chose to leave a legacy gift to Perkins he did so by establishing a charitable gift annuity. A charitable gift annuity is one planned giving option. The most popular is a bequest. By designating Perkins as the beneficiary of a will, trust, retirement plan, life insurance policy, or other deferred-giving arrangement, your generosity will underwrite the very best education possible for our students, today and tomorrow.

If you plan to include Perkins in your will or estate plans, or have already done so, please let us know so we can welcome you into the Thomas H. Perkins Legacy Society, which honors those individuals whose legacy of generosity helps build a better future for the people we serve.