The Value of Money and the Joy of Giving

At the heart of every charitable act lies a unique and inspiring story. Heinz Beer’s journey from a challenging childhood in Switzerland to becoming a generous supporter of City of Hope® is a testament to the power of resilience, compassion and the joy that comes from giving.

Heinz was born into a large family, with three sisters and two brothers, relying on government assistance and rationing bags. Through their hardships, Heinz quickly learned the value of money, running errands for neighbors to make ends meet. Growing up in barracks with a wood stove, he developed a strong bond with his mother, helping with household chores and managing their plot of land for growing crops.

An active and intelligent individual, Heinz’s passion for technical and mechanical items led him to complete an apprenticeship at 19 and left to work in Denmark. However, a bike accident set him back for a year. Undeterred, his highly sought skills eventually took him to Canada and then to the United States, where he became a successful entrepreneur. He started and sold his shop specializing in tool and die casting, and carefully saved and wisely invested his earnings, such as buying real estate.

Heinz’s connection with City of Hope began when his neighbor faced a health crisis. Impressed by the quality of care and attention City of Hope gave to caregivers and patients, Heinz started making contributions.

Faced with significant capital gains taxes from selling property, he turned to City of Hope planned giving professionals to explore charitable options that might help him mitigate the impact of the sale. After reviewing his options, Heinz established a charitable gift annuity, which enabled him to offset the capital gains consequence, provided him with lifetime income and fulfilled his philanthropic goals. Since then, he has established 12 more gift annuities with City of Hope and has made City of Hope a beneficiary in his estate plans.

With a lifetime of financial savviness, Heinz is committed to continuing to establish a gift annuity with City of Hope after his saving account reaches a specific value. With glee, he shares that his annuities now provide the most significant source of income for him well into retirement.

Heinz’s philosophy is simple yet profound: You can’t take it with you. He chooses to experience the joy of giving in his lifetime, ensuring his legacy lives on through his support for the remarkable work of City of Hope.

To learn more about ways to support City of Hope by establishing a charitable gift annuity or through a gift in your will or trust, please contact the Office of Planned Giving at 800-232-3314 or