“Live the life you want your children to live, to be a model, talk about it and reinforce it by doing.”Charlene Moore Hayes, TFT Legacy Society Member
Recently, we sat down with Charlene Moore Hayes and her husband, Dr. Floyd W. Hayes III, members of The Family Tree’s Legacy Society, to talk about what prompted their decision to include The Family Tree in their will. Charlene told us, “It’s a way of signaling to our legacy, to our children and grandchildren, that this is important work and we’re supporting it…I think it’s important to get kids engaged…to live the life you want your children to live, to be a model, talk about it and reinforce it by doing.”
Married for 38 years, Charlene and Floyd met in 1977 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Observing her unique poise and inner strength, Floyd wasted no time introducing himself to her. When they married at her family’s home in a small town in Mississippi, the whole town surprised them by showing up for the wedding.
Years later, when Charlene and Floyd moved to Baltimore, a friend recruited her to volunteer at The Family Tree. Charlene has always cared about causes that support children. The Family Tree “reminded me a lot of my father because he was always there for children who were mistreated,” she said.
What impressed her about The Family Tree was “the work and the quality of the leadership. I could see the difference they were making in the lives of the people…a direct impact. That’s my inspiration.”
She likens the work to a tree and the roots of the tree. “It’s so important to build that foundation and support the roots to build a family up. That’s the work of The Family Tree, that foundational work, building an environment where families can flourish.”
We asked Charlene what she would say to someone who is considering a legacy gift of their own. “It’s easy to do,” responded Charlene, “…and it sends a huge message that investing in Maryland’s children and families is important…Just take that first step”.