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Estate of Social Worker Leaves Millions to Charity

After Alan Naiman died of cancer at 63, he left most of his estate to a variety of charities serving children with various needs. This came as no surprise to his friends, who knew him as a frugal yet generous soul.

They just didn’t realize exactly how generous.

That’s because the charitable windfall that Naiman orchestrated from beyond the grave was more than a few thousand dollars—it totaled over $11 million.

Though he never married or had kids, Naiman was known to work extra jobs, scrimp on expenses, and invest here and there, eschewing the kind of extravagant spending that other people in his income bracket regularly enjoyed.

“Growing up as a kid with an older, disabled brother kind of colored the way he looked at things,” said close friend Susan Madsen. That brother passed away in 2013, the same year Naiman bought a Scion FR-S sport coupe—moderately priced, as a midlife crisis car.

Most of the organizations that received donations were ones in which he’d made contact over the years while serving the state Department of Social and Health Services for over two decades, handling calls after regular hours. Among them are the Pediatric Interim Care Center which serves babies of mothers in drug addiction, Treehouse Foster Care, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, which provides horse therapy for disabled people, and WestSide Baby, which distributes care supplies for low-income families with babies and small children.

Potential Preaching Angles:

When we’re faithful with what we’re given, God gives us the opportunity to be a blessing to those around us. The world values outward displays of wealth, but God looks at the heart.


Sasha Ingber, “Social Worker Led Frugal Life to Leave Nearly $11 Million to Children’s Charities,” NPR (12-29-18)

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