Remembering 25 Years of Service to Second Harvest

Tristram Coffin Jr.

Tristram Coffin, Jr.

Late last year, Second Harvest’s longest-serving volunteer passed away after a lifetime of service to others. Tristram Coffin, Jr. and his wife, Marvel, began volunteering with Second Harvest shortly after our founding in 1982.

Their daughter, Cheryl Johnson, says her parents were instrumental in helping to get the first Second Harvest facility up and running. “After a career with the Better Business Bureau, my Dad knew people at a lot of local businesses. He worked to help get freezer space at these places until Second Harvest could get a big enough one of their own,” Cheryl says.

“He helped out a lot with the bookkeeping. Even after computers became more common, he became a check on the computers,” she said. “My mother had been his executive secretary at the Bureau, so she brought those skills to the front offices of Second Harvest.”

Mr. and Mrs. Coffin joined the ranks of many retired veterans who have volunteered at Second Harvest. They met in Miami (she was a WAVE who outranked him) shortly after World War II following his service as a Navy Signalman. He went on to enjoy a long career with the Better Business Bureau in Amarillo and New Orleans, and was an active Rotary member in both cities. After he retired, fellow members of All Saints Episcopal Church in River Ridge recommended Second Harvest as a volunteer opportunity.

Mr. Coffin’s decades of work at Second Harvest received both local and national attention. He was recognized for his volunteer work by the city of New Orleans at a Saints game and, in 2006, President George W. Bush presented him the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Following his passing, Mr. Coffin’s family let us know that he had left a very generous gift to Second Harvest in his will. His daughter explained why.

“I think Second Harvest really became his life, the people there became his family,” Cheryl says. “It was very important to him. As he got older, he didn’t drive, and Second Harvest would arrange to pick him up and get him home in the evening. And someone at Second Harvest would always make sure he had lunch. Sometimes the receptionist would bring in a dish just for him.”

Our deepest thanks go out to the Coffin family, and especially to Mr. Coffin, whose life is a testimony to the power and reward found in serving others and the community.

If you would like to learn how you can include a gift to Second Harvest in your will or other estate plan, please contact Heather Sweeney at 504-729-2839 or

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Second Harvest Food Bank a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

“I, [name], of [city, state ZIP], give, devise and bequeath the sum of $________ or ______ percent of my estate to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, a nonprofit institution incorporated in the State of Louisiana with a business address of 700 Edwards Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70123 and tax identification number #72-0956468 for its unrestricted use and purpose.”

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to Second Harvest or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Second Harvest as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to Second Harvest as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and Second Harvest where you agree to make a gift to Second Harvest and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

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