Jim Sorensen's childhood laid the groundwork for his devotion to environmental causes. Spending time in the woods of Minnesota, Southern Canada, and Alaska, he developed an appreciation for virgin wilderness.
In the 1960s he attended the University of Minnesota and became active in overpopulation and environmental issues. His father worked for Northwest Airlines, and suggested that Jim become a pilot. For 36 years Jim has traveled the world, flying to Europe, India, China, Hawaii, Australia and, most recently, the Persian Gulf. Over the years he has continued to support environmental causes, local social organizations in Minnesota, and public radio and television.
Jim's journey with Greenpeace began seven years ago when a Greenpeace canvasser knocked on his door on Halloween night. "I was expecting to find trick-or-treaters, and I got this guy from Greenpeace at my door instead." Jim joined with a $100 gift and has since become a devoted member of Greenpeace. "The only way to respond to the corporate greed that is destroying our environment is by responding in kind-at the scene, in their face. It is so inspiring to see the Greenpeace ships go up against corporate interests. Their actions get the attention the problems require."
After evaluating his financial position and philanthropic priorities a few years ago, Jim decided to establish a living trust that includes Greenpeace and other charitable interests as beneficiaries. Jim will receive all income generated by the trust during his lifetime. At his death, property in the trust will be distributed to the charitable organizations he designated. Under federal tax law, property held in trust and given to charitable interests is free of federal estate tax. Unlike bequests made through wills, property held in trust also does not pass through the probate process, which will reduce probate expense, avoid unnecessary delays in the distribution of his estate, and ensure that his charitable wishes remain private.
"Greenpeace needs to get bigger and stronger to check the power of international corporations that are getting bigger and stronger," he said. Jim's legacy will help Greenpeace to fulfill its global mission.
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