The Impact of Generational Generosity
“Generosity is our family lifestyle, and something [with which] you inspire the people around you,” says Beni Cobaschi. It is a mindset he first learned while growing up in Romania.
“As far as I can remember, my family was highly active in the church — my grandparents, and my parents,” says Beni. “They were always giving, and our home was always open to missionaries or other people.” Beni also found another positive role model in the youth leader at his church, who was generous with his resources and time to support the local youth group.
Meanwhile, Diana Cobaschi, Beni’s wife, was growing up in Canada and developing her own style of giving. “I’m more inclined to give in terms of my time. You never know how offering your time can impact somebody.”
The more you donate, the more you will find joy in giving. That’s where you should find your pleasure.Beni Cobaschi
Beni was 15 years old when his family immigrated to Canada in 2001. “We came on a Thursday, and I went to church Friday for a Bible Study. I told everybody, ‘Hey, my name is Beni. Do you have a job? Do you need a worker? On Monday I went to work with someone laying hardwood floor in a house.” At the end of the week, Beni donated his entire first pay cheque to help people struggling back home. “I took the Bible verse in Proverbs 3:9 literally: honour God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.”
That same year, Beni and Diana met at the local high school, where his entrepreneurial spirit and high deals set him apart from many of his peers. He honed his skills and incorporated his first construction company a few weeks before graduation. The business continued to grow. Diana and Beni got married.
The young couple wanted to see more of the world, but neither felt it would be right to just spend their money on luxury vacations. They searched the web and found an opportunity that brought together their giving styles and their expertise — a mission trip organized by YWAM to an orphanage in Mexico. That experience ignited a shared passion for short-term missions. Subsequent trips took them to Africa, Haiti, and Mexico. But they didn’t limit themselves to serving internationally. Beni and Diana are also active in their local community.
Their lifestyle choices have allowed Beni and Diana to naturally model generosity for their children.
When the Cobaschi family grew to include two children, Beni and Diana decided it was time to get their wills in order. In keeping with their values, the estate plan included charitable donations. “Our lawyer mentioned Abundance Canada and told us about its services. We started talking about consolidating our donations,” says Beni. The Cobaschis created a Generosity Plan™ that not only addresses the gifts in their will, but also helps them reach their current philanthropic goals.
“Everybody makes financial goals,” says Beni. “They say the more money you make the more you spend. But it doesn’t have to be that way.” He and Diana have taken a creative approach to living. Their preference is to give more to charity than spend more on themselves. “If you make $100K a year, or if you make $500K a year, or if you make $1M a year, you can ask: are you just going to spend more and more on yourself each year, or are you actually going to spend it on helping others? The more you donate, the more you will find joy in giving. That’s where you should find your pleasure.”
Their lifestyle choices have allowed Beni and Diana to naturally model generosity for their children. “When they see that we give financially, they want to contribute too,” says Diana. A couple of years ago, each of the children chose to sponsor a child their own age through an international charity. “They commit to giving $10 a month and have to figure out how they will earn that money. They collect cans; they sell eggs; they do odd jobs. It’s all about serving somebody else, and they’ve never done it grudgingly, even though they’re working for something that has absolutely no benefit to themselves.”
“You teach the generations and the people around you by how you live,” concludes Beni. “I don’t want people to say, I had a big house … I want them to say I was a generous person, and I want my kids to learn from that and live that in the next generation.”
Beni and Diana graciously shared their story with us for our 2021 Annual Report.