We at the Law Offices of Stephen B. Yim are committed to not only providing quality legal services to each and every one of our clients, we are committed to serve our community to make a positive and sustainable difference in Hawaii. In order to formalize this commitment, in September of 2014, our office established the Heartfelt Legacy Foundation.
This Heartfelt Legacy Foundation will serve as our charitable arm. The Heartfelt Legacy Foundation’s main purposes include serving families who have children with disabilities, and bringing a system called Respecting Choices to Hawaii to assist families in making End of Life Decisions and manage through these most difficult of times. The Heartfelt Legacy Foundation is always open to providing support to our community where it sees a need and where it sees that it can make a positive difference.
With regard to assisting families who have children with disabilities, the Heartfelt Legacy Foundation hosts seminars and workshops, collaborating with other nonprofit organizations, the legal community, financial planners, and other interested individuals and organizations to bring in, on an annual basis, a nationally recognized speaker who specializes in Special Needs Planning to provide information to families and local professionals. We do this so families can make the best decisions for their child to help their child grow and develop in order to enjoy the most meaningful life possible.
With regard to End of Life Decision making, The Heartfelt Legacy Foundation’s goal is to bring a uniform system called Advance Care Planning to Hawaii to bring a better End of Life experience for each and everyone here in Hawaii. No doubt, for the individual and the individual’s family, a terminal illness brings the worst of times. And, during these worst of times, we can help the individual going through end of life (1) make informed decisions; (2) communicate clearly these decisions and intentions to loved ones and medical professionals; so that (3) these choices are honored and respected.
There is a great need to instill a uniform process called Advance Care Planning into our community. In communities that do not have this system, the statistics reveal that only 30% of individuals make an End of Life Decision and only 30% of these decisions are honored and respected. And, surviving family members suffer stress, anxiety, depression, and guilt. Some studies found that the stress, anxiety, depression, and guilt rise to the level of Post-Traumatic Stress. When communities adopt the Advance Care Planning System, the percentage of individuals making an End of Life Decision increases to well above 90%, and well over 90% of these decisions are honored and respected. Anxiety, depression, stress, and guilt significantly reduce.
Our ultimate goal is to instill this system into Hawaii. In order to ensure success, we must increase awareness and afford to hire the mentorship program that has consistently and successfully instilled this system into communities within cities in the United States, and in many cities in foreign countries. This system is called Respecting Choices. The Heartfelt Legacy Foundation, in order to reach its goal, will sponsor seminars and presentations to raise awareness, inviting experts in the area to speak about the Advance Care Planning system; prepare and provide booklets and information; and collaborate with health care professionals, spiritual leaders, business leaders, nonprofit organizations, the legal community, financial advisors, and other leaders to join together in a collaborative and synergistic effort to make this happen.
Once the system is in place, The Heartfelt Legacy Foundation is committed to sustaining the system’s growth in perpetuity by continuing to sponsor programs to inform the public, and to train Advance Care Planners.
Please consider making a contribution to the Heartfelt Legacy Foundation.
Stephen B. Yim
Founder and Trustee