Paying it Forward

Sharon Lout on horseGrowing up on the Gulf Coast, some of Sharon Lout's fondest memories are of the outdoors, like teaching her brothers how to bait fishing hooks and searching for shells on the beach near her childhood home. She also remembers visits to her grandmother's farm in rural Waller County and spending time in Texas State Parks.

"We took many family camping trips to Inks Lake and Garner State Park when I was a child," she recalls. "I can also remember trips to Lake Somerville and Longhorn Caverns. I went to college at Sam Houston State, and we would visit Huntsville State Park on the weekends."

As an adult, her interest in natural resource conservation and wildlife is enhanced by her favorite television show.

"I enjoy watching Texas Parks and Wildlife on my favorite network, PBS," said Lout. "I was intrigued by the stories of the Lone Star Land Stewards, who take such incredible care of their properties. Their stewardship helps underscore the importance of taking care of Texas and our nation."

Lout learned about the work of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation (TPWF) when a family friend passed away, and she wanted to make a tribute gift in his honor. She was pleased to learn there were other ways she could contribute to the parks and wildlife she loves that also make sense financially.

"This year I became old enough to donate part of my required minimum distribution from my IRA to TPWF as a qualified charitable distribution," she explains. "It is a wonderful feeling to support important work and not pay any taxes on the distribution. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation touches all aspects of Texas and benefits all Texans. This type of gift is a sensible option for anyone over 70½."