NEBRASKA (2015) Nellie M. Cole Trust Donates More Than 1000 Acres of Farmland to Nebraska Children’s Home Society. Nellie Cole created her will in 1957, and continued to update it through the years. Her instructions were that her land would ultimately be donated to NCHS after her daughter Hazel Sitlington’s death. Nellie’s first gift to NCHS was $2.00 given to a ‘field man’ who worked on behalf of the Children’s Home, going door-to-door, farm-to-farm, collecting monetary and food donations for the children in 1941. The largest gift she gave during her lifetime was $50.
In a 1968 letter Nellie Cole addressed to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society’s executive director, she said “I am wanting to get it right so at the end, your Children’s Home gets it all.”
Nellie and her husband Stephen B. Cole, started purchasing real estate in Gosper County, Nebraska in 1889. Hazel Sitlington died in Holdrege, Nebraska in 2011 and the Stephen and Nellie Cole family completed 122 years of presence in Gosper, Dawson and Phelps counties in Nebraska.
Proceeds from the sale of the donated farmland will boost the agency’s annual income by an average of about $235,000* per year over the next 100 years and beyond. The value of the donated farmland was more than $4 million. “This gift was 123 years in the making,” said Brian Osborne, NCHS Development Director. “This was a determined and thoughtful woman who understood there is more than one way to give to nonprofits dear to ones heart.”
*based on an average annual return from investments of 6% over 100 years, with withdrawals beginning in the year 2014.