Andrew E. Rubin: $1 Million Legacy to Inspire Other Gifts
Andrew E. Rubin likes rooting for the underdog—whether in his former professional capacity as a criminal defense attorney for the mentally ill, in his volunteer work on various mental health organization boards, or in his charitable giving. As he says, “I like taking lost causes and making them not lost anymore.”
His strong commitment to Didi Hirsch is a prime example of his lifetime dedication to those who are less fortunate.
While Andrew was still a boy, his father paved the way for Andrew’s future volunteer work by organizing, managing, and running a volunteer dental program at a mental health hospital. “I went to a radio interview with him when I was 12 and got hooked on being a volunteer,” says Andrew.
Shortly after graduating from Occidental College ’71 and Stanford Law School ’74, Andrew began serving on mental health boards. When his aunt Didi Hirsch passed away, her daughter asked Andrew to be on the board of the agency named in her honor. Mrs. Hirsch was a social worker who had provided decades of fundraising support. As a legal advocate for those with mental illnesses, it made perfect sense for him to join. “It’s a family legacy,” he explains. “I fell in love with the organization.”
With over 30 years of board service, Andrew has observed real change. “When I first got involved, mental illness organizations used to be the worst funded and most stigmatized health organizations in the country,” he says. “People don’t stigmatize cancer patients or heart disease patients. But people with mental health issues were stigmatized and underserved.” He notes that Didi Hirsch does “a tremendous job” of helping people who might otherwise fall through the cracks.
To further support Didi Hirsch, Andrew has included a $1 million bequest in his will. His goal, he says, is to inspire others to make planned gifts to Didi Hirsch.
“People of privilege, who are fortunate, don’t have a legal obligation to support people who are less fortunate,” he says. “But they should try it and see how wonderful it feels.”