By James Ponder
John Milani, president and CEO of Commercial Cooling in the City of Industry, supports genuine charitable causes like Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in honor of those who helped him when he immigrated to this country from Iran in 1961.

Jeffersonian ideals of democracy, freedom, hard work, and opportunity figure prominently in his story. Arriving in the United States at the age of 16½, he neither spoke English nor knew anyone who could help him get established. But he persisted and found work as a houseboy at the rate of $35 a month.

"I lived in the attic of an eight-room home for medical students," he recalls. "I cleaned the house, washed toilets, changed sheets, and washed dishes after dinner every night."

Milani credit the unmatched generosity of his mother, Zizi Joon, with helping him realize the importance of sharing with others. "She was really, really the most generous person I ever knew in my life," he insists. "She told me, ‘If you give something to someone, don't expect something back.' She also said, ‘It's not how much you give, it's the percentage of your capability.'"

About a year ago, John and Sherry, whom he calls "my beautiful wife," asked their CPA, Oscar Valverde, for help in identifying a worthy organization to support. When Valverde suggested Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, the Milanis reached out to Todd Mekelburg, director of planned giving at Loma Linda University Health.

Mekelburg and Joanna De Leon, director of the LLU Children's Hospital Foundation, arranged for them to tour the hospital with Shamel Abd-Allah, MD, chief of pediatric critical care.

"We were really impressed by the experience," Milani observes. As a result, they established a charitable remainder unitrust to help the hospital serve the children of Southern California.

"We are very grateful to John and Sherry Milani for remembering the patients of Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in their estate planning," Mekelburg observes. "Their commitment to treating others as they would like to be treated is exemplary in this day and age. It was an honor to work with the Milanis and we salute them for leaving a legacy that will benefit the children of Southern California for decades to come."

Milani says it's all about matching their giving to their values.

"The joy we get out of doing something for people who aren't as privileged as we are is wonderful," he concludes. "I think of it as a small payback for all the people who were nice to me in my life, especially when I was a houseboy."

For information on making charitable gifts to any of the entities of Loma Linda University Health, please contact Rebecca Grissom by phone at 909-558-4553 or online at www.llulegacy.org

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Loma Linda University Health a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Loma Linda University Health, a nonprofit corporation currently located at (LegalAddress), or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Loma Linda or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Loma Linda as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Loma Linda where you agree to make a gift to Loma Linda and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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