For John Drake, helping children isn't just part of the job

John Drake height=Through the Professional Advisory Council (PAC), John Drake combines his career in financial services and his passion for Arkansas Children's Hospital. To learn more about PAC, please contact the Foundation at 501-364-1476.

At first glance, you wouldn’t assume John Drake has found a creative way to combine his career in financial services and his passion for Arkansas Children’s Hospital. 

Most of his day-to-day conversations focus on selling mutual funds, stocks and life insurance – not advocating for children. 

But when his 16-year-old niece was in a car accident, Drake kept a weekly vigil at her hospital bedside for six months.

He saw first hand the care, love and hope delivered at ACH – and began looking for ways to give back. 

He joined Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Professional Advisory Council (PAC), which is a group of professional and legal advisors who partner with the hospital to learn more about and promote planned giving. 

Even before joining PAC, Drake has always been focused on helping others. His past careers include a teacher and a community development director before becoming a financial advisor with Edward Jones in North Little Rock 12 years ago.

Now, he works with his clients and their tax advisors to develop financial plans that meet his clients’ needs. Drake’s clients often want to know how they can reduce their tax burden, and charitable giving is one of the topics they discuss.

"I get a great deal of joy from helping clients with their tax situations, while also helping their favorite charities, like Arkansas Children’s Hospital," Drake says. “It comes down to trying to help people – and it’s a win-win for the client and the hospital if we can structure some kind of gift for the hospital.”

Like a true teacher at heart, he moves to a white board in his office to explain the innovative approach he uses to create a “win-win-win” for his clients, his business and Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

This creative bundle starts with a charitable gift annuity, which provides a generous gift to the charity and an income stream for life for the donor. He combines the charitable gift annuity with a life insurance policy from Edward Jones, which provides the donor's heirs with financial security. 

“I wish people knew you don’t have to be rich to make a difference,” he says, when asked what untapped opportunities he sees for his clients. “People think, ‘I don’t have enough money to give to the hospital.’ But that’s not true. You don’t have to have $50,000 or $1 million to make a difference.”

“Giving $25 a month really adds up,” Drake says. “Plus it can help reduce your tax obligation. Also, I wish more people would explore options like retirement accounts, insurance or charitable gift annuities. They are a lot simpler than you think."

For John Drake, helping clients give back is more than a job – it’s his passion. 

To learn more about charitable giving options, visit with your financial advisor or click here.

To find out more about the Professional Advisory Council, which provides continuing education to tax and financial professionals, contact the Foundation office by calling 501-364-1476 or emailing Jill McIlroy

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