Janine Evans, about to celebrate her 65th birthday, is marking this milestone with more than cake and balloons – she’s creating a personal legacy for the community through Taranaki Foundation.

Born in Invercargill, Janine’s journey led her to Taranaki in the 1980s, where she built a life, marrying a farmer from Urenui, raising her children Carys and Thomas and opening a hairdressing salon.

Her adventurous spirit led her to live and work overseas, before returning to settle in the Waikato. There, she spent seven years as the Marketing Manager for a child protection organisation, a trust dedicated to preventing harm to children “which opened my eyes to a whole world I didn’t know about” she reflects.

Despite being away from Taranaki for many years, Janine always considered Taranaki her home, where her children and grandchildren live. Upon returning to New Plymouth four years ago, Janine’s involvement with NP Partners led her to discover the Taranaki Foundation. A recent event where CE Josh Hickford spoke about the impact of leaving a 10% gift in one’s Will sparked a ‘lightbulb moment’ for her.

Inspired by this and motivated by a recent health scare, Janine turned to her lawyers at Legal Solutions to include a charitable gift in her Will. This gift will be invested and grown into an ongoing source of funding.

“Despite facing financial setbacks, I’ve been deeply influenced by my parents, Gwen and John Wills, who instilled in me a strong sense of community giving,” she says. “Their example of helping others in the community has stayed with me and I’ve made it a habit to donate regularly to causes I care about. Giving back has always been a key part of our family’s beliefs.”

Eventually, her legacy gift will be used to support child protection and the Govett-Brewster Charitable Foundation, where she currently works. “It’s important to help future generations,” she says.

“Even a small part of what you leave behind can make a big difference. Charitable giving isn’t just for the wealthy. Imagine if all my friends follow suit, imagine what we could do, what a difference we could make to our local community. It’s very cool, to know I can continue supporting causes I care about, even after I’ve gone.”