The Land Family Legacy: Two generations of honouring the past while supporting the future

Every year, people of all ages planning their estates make a promise: “Help is coming.” This conscientious decision to leave a legacy gift to the Canadian Red Cross in their Will is an act that will provide important future support to help people in need.

Legacy givers are not necessarily wealthy or famous, which is a common misconception. Instead, they’re simply people who wish to share their kindness and make a difference in some way for future generations.

One such person is John Land, who shares why he and his late mother, Mary, both included donations to the Red Cross in their Wills. 

Remembering Mary Land

“The one word, ‘remarkable,’ described my Mum,” says John Land, adding that Mary Land first became involved with the Canadian Red Cross when she was 12 years old. “Then at 21, she volunteered to be an ambulance driver during World War II.”

Mary enlisted as part of a group of volunteers known as the Canadian Red Cross Corps, who were specially trained for wartime service during the Second World War. Mary was one of the corps’ 641 members to represent the Canadian Red Cross overseas during the war.
A black and white archived photo of three women standing in Red Cross uniforms smiling
Mary, pictured in the middle, with fellow Red Crossers in this archived photo.

Mary’s dedication to the Red Cross’ humanitarian work continued long after the war and, in 2003, she received the Queen’s Jubilee medal for her lifetime service to the Canadian Red Cross.

John recalls how Mary pinned the Red Cross certificate outside her room. “I think it was her greatest honour,” he shares.

Sharing memories

Mary Land sitting by an archived Red Cross poster and slab cake
At age 95, Mary had a chance to watch a touching tribute video of Canadian women like herself who served in the Canadian Red Cross Corps. John, who watched alongside his mother, even recognized Mary’s over-shoulder kit bag in the video, which she had given him.

“This really was an amazing experience for both Mum and me,” says John. “I can't imagine anything more wonderful as a final gift.”

Inspiring others to give

Mary’s dedication to making the world a better place didn’t end when she passed. Her commitment and care lived on in the charitable gift that she left in her Will to the Red Cross. Not only that, Mary’s life inspired John to also include a gift in his own Will. It’s one way he wishes to honour his mother and the remarkable life she lived.

“I’m not a rich man, but I know my gift will make a difference for generations to come,” John explains. “However my gift is used by the Red Cross, I know it will be for good. If you’re looking for a way to leave a lasting impact on the world, a gift in your will means more than you may ever know.”

This story is not only Mary’s remarkable journey, but how she and John will continue making a difference to other people’s lives, long after they have passed on. The Land Family’s efforts in honouring the past while helping others in the future is a fine example of how a legacy can be built over generations. 

You can join John, Mary and many others in including a charitable gift to the Canadian Red Cross in your Will. For more details, contact a planned Legacy Giving specialist at 1-800-418-1111 and
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