A Gift From the HEART

Jody and Octavio “O.P.” Portu, P’12, have made enduring commitments to the institutions that have made a profound impact on their family—including son Jeffrey’s alma mater, Boston College. They invest their time as volunteer leaders, and they invest their philanthropic resources strategically through annual, endowed, and planned giving. The Portus believe that donors often overlook the importance of bequests, but these BC parents insist that planned giving is vital.

“If you really support an institution on a long-term basis,” explains O.P. Portu, “a bequest is the logical extension.” Through their annual giving the Portus help meet the University’s immediate needs. The endowed Portu Family Scholarship Fund provides financial aid to deserving undergraduates. And through a bequest in their will, the family will leave a lasting legacy at the Heights.

“Some people don’t understand how to make a bequest, and they think it’s complicated. But it’s not; it’s easy. Your attorney, or the University’s Planned Giving office, will guide you through it. It’s just adding a couple of sentences to your will,” says O.P. The other advantage, he points out, is that a bequest has no effect on your current financial position.

The fact that BC pledges to meet students’ full demonstrated financial need just puts it over the top, as far as I’m concerned.

—Octavio “O.P.” Portu, P’12

The Portus begin by volunteering with an organization, which, they explain, helps them understand and evaluate it. At BC, they joined the Parents Leadership Council (PLC), a community of highly engaged families who share their passion for academic, spiritual, and personal formation. Through the PLC, they got to know BC in their own way, not just through their son Jeffrey’s experiences.
“We’re most passionate about institutions where we, or our kids, have had a personal connection,” explains O.P. “When we invest our time in a school or health care organization”—the Portus’ younger son, Michael, was born with a heart condition, and the Portus have been generous to the institutions that saved his life—“it helps us get to know the working of the organization. Every organization has a mission, but not everybody walks that mission.”

BC, they agree, is an outstanding example of mission in action.

“Jeffrey had an excellent academic preparation at BC that prepared him well for his career. Beyond that, BC helped him navigate through all the challenges that are part of our world today,” says Jody Portu. “And creating a heart of service is a really important component of the BC mission. We are so happy to help make that kind of education accessible for more students who need some help.”

O.P. cites BC’s commitment to evaluating financial aid applicants without respect to their financial situations (referred to as “need-blind” admission) as extremely important. “In the early years, when I came from Cuba, I could not have gone to college without grants and scholarships. The fact that BC pledges to meet students’ full demonstrated financial need just puts it over the top, as far as I’m concerned.”

The Portus’ bequest will help future generations of students benefit from a BC education just as Jeffrey did. “People don’t think about bequests,” says O.P. “They should. If you believe in the mission, make that investment for the future.”

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Estate Planning Benefits

It’s a festive time of year! I am always filled with gratitude in this season for all of our Shaw Society members, who have generously made planned gifts to Boston College.