It’s a fact that people who are afforded a post-secondary education have a higher chance of achieving success, experience better opportunities, and earn more in their lifetimes than those without a post-secondary education. I raised my first generation of boys as a young single mother. It wasn’t until later in life that I was able to enroll in a University night school program to earn a degree in business. Just because I was young, and single, did not mean I didn’t know the value of a good education. In fact, quite the opposite was true.
As young as I was, going on to a post-secondary institution was something I dreamed about every single day I struggled raising those 2 beautiful, bright boys. I worked minimum wage jobs, sacrificed, went to school and we got by (barely). Fortunately, I was taught the power of saving for a rainy day. With each Birthday that passed, each Christmas and Holiday celebrated, I did what most would think was impossible for someone like me. I was able to save enough money to pay for my two boys’ first 3 years of post-secondary education. It wasn’t easy back then, and I certainly could never have done it alone.
When each of my boys were born, I opened up savings accounts in their names. When they were gifted money for their Birthdays, milestone events and Christmases, or were left small sums when relatives passed, I let them keep a modest amount; but the majority went into their savings accounts. As the years went by, I never thought about the money. I would take the bus to the bank, deposit the cheques and life would go on, we made do. They never asked about the money. There were a couple of times when things got bad, and I was deciding what was more important: rent or food. The thought of using that money to help our situation or get through the latest curve-ball life threw at us was tempting, but I trained my mind to think that money never existed. The hardship I experienced back then was the motivation I needed to make sure my kids wouldn’t walk the same path.
I disciplined myself to know that despite the odds, my boys would have every opportunity to have a bright future and that all started with me. The only time I ever felt as proud and powerful as I did that day I paid for my first-born son to apply to college, was the day I sent him to pay (in full) for his first semester at College to study electrical engineering and every semester after that. While some of his classmates, and many others were applying for Student Financial Assistance programs he realized the freedom of not having ever-increasing debt weighing on his shoulder. My second born son was accepted to college this past September was gifted this same opportunity. He felt he was making the wrong decision and wanted to take some time to think about what it is he really wants to do and that’s totally okay with me.
When I heard about Heritage Education Funds’ new eGifting Program I was impressed and excited. Of course Heritage Education Funds would be the first organization in Canada to bring this innovative type of service to families from coast to coast. Heritage is one of Canada’s most trusted group RRSP and RESP providers, helping Canadian families with flexible and affordable savings plans since 1965. Over the past 50 years Heritage has empowered over 447,000 children with post-secondary education.
Their new, unique eGifting program is so innovative; making it convenient and simple for family and friends near and far to safely and securely contribute funds electronically towards a child’s Heritage RESP account. The banking industry has changed significantly over the last decade and most of us are used to online banking and digital solutions. We have debit cards, direct deposit and automatic withdrawals for mortgage payments and insurance. It’s to the point that my youngest son, who’s now four, has rarely even seen what cash looks like.
By now, if you’ve spent any amount of time online you’ve come across crowdsourcing/crowdfunding campaigns. Crowd sourcing campaigns have become the new “thing” there are crowd sourcing campaigns for everything under the sun. I’ve seen some really heart wrenching campaigns forged out of desperation to campaigns attempting to raise funds for a vacation or a new laptop. Why not crowd source your friends and families to give the gift of a bright future for your children?
The Heritage eGifting program partners with FundRazr which is an inexpensive, safe, and secure crowd funding platform. Since 2010 FundRazr, Canada’s leading crowdfunding platform, has helped raise over $74 million from over 45,000 campaigns around the world. FundRazr is available to everyone, for any kind of cause, from almost anywhere in the world, so why not use it for the most important gift your children could ever get?
Kids get enough “things.” Most experts will tell you children today are spoiled with materialistic gifts that only hold their interests for a few weeks or months at most. There are only so many toys a kid can have and play with at any one time. I believe that we are seeing the new face and future of gifting with the Heritage Education Funds eGifting Program and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
As we all try to scale back and focus on what’s really important this Holiday Season and become more aware about our true needs vs. our excessive wants, the Heritage eGifting program is an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the future of any child in your life. Whether it’s your own child, your nieces or nephews, or even your grandchild or godchild, the best way you can make a difference in that child’s life is not with the newest doll or gaming system wrapped in shiny paper under the tree. The best way you can make a difference in any child’s life is by helping to make sure that child has the resources available to experience the benefits of a higher education. Collectively, we can accomplish much more together, than by ourselves.
This holiday season; why not consider changing the focus on what you gift to your little loved ones? What if, you bought a few less “things” and contributed a little, no matter how modest towards a child’s brighter future?
To register, or to learn more about Heritage Education Funds eGifting program visit: http://www.heritageresp.com/egifting
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time to write this article. All opinions and experiences expressed above are 100% my own.