Liberty University receives gifts in all different forms — from outright cash to estate plans, property and even office furniture.
One item even came with a set of wheels.
Charles “Red” Stone of Amelia, Va., recently made his 2004 Bluebird Wanderlodge motorhome available to the university. The 35-foot vehicle is top of the line, with all the modern amenities.
Harold Knowles of Liberty’s Planned Giving Department said the luxury motorhome was appraised at $250,000, but estimates it was about $400,000 new.
“There’s a lot of stuff in here that some motorhomes don’t have,” he said.
The “extras” include an automatic awning that senses rain, a kitchen that slides out — plumbing, wiring and all — to expand the living area, a bed and a pull-out sofa to sleep four, two sizeable flat-screen TVs, GPS, all necessary kitchen appliances, a combination washer/dryer, and plenty of storage space throughout. The design, with recessed lighting and a decorative ceiling, adds to its appeal.
With 18,000 miles on it, Stone, who does a lot of traveling between his farms in Amelia and a home in Virginia Beach, planned on buying a smaller motorhome and thought Liberty could use the Wanderlodge as it is or as an investment.
“Liberty does a great job, first of all, in helping children; that’s the main thing I want to do is to help a child go to a college with a spiritual background,” he said. “I love the university. I’ve been making contributions and I’ll increase them every year.”
Stone has taken advantage of the Planned Giving Department’s charitable gift annuities, transferring cash or securities in exchange for Liberty’s promise to pay a fixed income for life. The present value of an annuity is less than the amount transferred, thus creating a gift to Liberty; according to age, donors get a rate of return and it’s the same for the rest of their life.
“I want my money to be left to something good, and if I can get a little income while I’m here, it makes sense … I can’t take it with me,” Stone said.
Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said he is thankful for supporters like Stone.
“We deeply appreciate Mr. Stone’s generosity and heart for Christian education,” he said. “I have not met Mr. Stone but, in a recent telephone conversation, I was impressed with his commitment to the original mission of Liberty University and to traditional moral values. Without sacrificial donors like Red Stone, Liberty University could not fulfill its charge to train young Champions for Christ.”
As of now, Falwell said the university plans to sell the vehicle and use the proceeds to build the school’s endowment.
For information on giving to Liberty University, call (800) 543-5309 or go to www.lugiving.com.