There are many ways to donate to help provide the best options and opportunities for individuals with disabilities at Little City and John Aiken has done just about all of them. In his roughly 45 years supporting Little City, John has seen how the programs, services, and community have allowed his son Jeff to thrive and grow over the years.

Whether it is on the basketball and volleyball courts in Special Olympics, singing in the holiday concert or working in the gardens of the Dorothy Rose Horticulture Center, Jeff has discovered passions and developed life skills that would have otherwise been unfulfilled without Little City.

John said that the life-changing impact for his son over the decades has inspired him to give year after year and join the planned giving program and commit a legacy gift.

“As far as finding a place for your loved one, there is no better place than Little City,” John said. “There are situations where you can’t handle everything at home, or they need more and Little City is the top place for that.”

Over the years, John has given back in a variety of ways. But the planned giving program has given him the opportunity to pass on the greatest gift of all – continued access to the same opportunities and experiences that shaped his son over the last 40 years.

“Those programs have been very good for Jeff, and he excels pretty much in all of them,” John said. “I’ve just trusted that the people [at Little City] will use the money for what is really needed and that’s what I’ve seen.”

John said 2021 was probably his biggest year in terms of giving because he wanted to help during the ongoing pandemic and said families or donors considering an option like planned giving or a legacy gift should feel confident Little City is using the support to make a difference.

“I just know from experience, as time has gone by, Little City gets less money from the state and so it seemed like a good time to give what I could,” he said. “It’s been tough for everyone going through a pandemic and I want to make sure the place that cares for Jeff is supported.”

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