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Man Who Lived Frugal Life, Leaves Millions to Children's Charities


December 28, 2018


Seattle, WA

Despite his relatively modest salary working for the state of Washington’s Child Protective Services, Alan Naiman quietly amassed an $11 million fortune that he left behind to children’s charities when he passed away earlier this year.

“The way Alan lived, nobody would have ever suspected that he was going to leave this gigantic legacy,” said Shashi Karan, a longtime friend. “He lived such a simple life and his frugality was legendary.”

Naiman drove the same used pickup truck for years and rarely spent money on himself unless he had to. As a former accountant, he was smart with his money and, just like his hero Warren Buffet, knew how to make it grow through investments. He was as hard working as he was frugal and often had as many as three jobs at a time.

Still, Alan never hesitated to help a friend in need. A foster parent and mentor to dozens of youth through a variety of programs, he dedicated his life to the most vulnerable population among us. Perhaps that’s why Alan chose to dedicate his estate to continue his life’s work.

His friends had no idea that he was secretly planning to leave an even larger lasting impact.

“He asked for ideas of places that he could donate, but I had no idea how much,” said Mary Monahan, a longtime friend and colleague. “I am overwhelmed by the amount of good he did and continues to do. He just kept it so secret. It wasn’t anything he ever talked about.”

Much of how Naiman built his fortune is not known. It’s clear that his father had a major impact on him. Also frugal and famous for wearing duct-taped shoes to get a little extra wear out of them, his father left Naiman a portion of the money when he passed away. How much and the rest of the details are not accessible.

Alan Naiman passed away in his Seattle home on January 8, 2018, surrounded by friends and family. He was 63 years old.

Not only will Naiman’s gift provide essential support to youth in foster care and children in vulnerable situations, it will also provide life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses, equine-assisted therapies and activities, and medical care to thousands of children across Washington state and beyond.

The beneficiaries of Alan Naiman’s estate include:

  • Childhaven
  • Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
  • Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington
  • Odessa Brown Children's Clinic
  • Treehouse
  • WestSide Baby 

Through his planned gift, Naiman continues to help his beloved children’s charities after his death. Even with his generosity, these organizations continue to need funding to serve the community. If you would like to leave a legacy like Naiman to one of these organizations, please reach out to your charity of choice for more information.

About Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington

Together, we create life-changing wish experiences for children with critical illnesses. Research shows children who have wishes granted build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight a critical illness. This improves their quality of life and produces better health outcomes. When a wish is granted, a child replaces fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope. Yet, not every child in our territory who is eligible for a wish receives one. With your help, we can change that. For more information please call 800.304.9474, visit or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @MakeAWishAKWA.

About Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) is a community clinic of Seattle Children’s Hospital located in Seattle’s Central District. Children from birth through 21 receive care from a team of specially trained pediatric care providers. OBCC provides medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services to all families, regardless of their ability to pay.

About Treehouse

Founded in 1988, Treehouse is Washington’s leading nonprofit organization addressing the academic and other essential support needs of youth in foster care. More than 7,500 youth each year prosper through programs that focus on their academic success, fulfill key material needs and provide important experiences every child deserves. Learn more at

About WestSide Baby

WestSide Baby meets the basic needs of vulnerable children to promote safety, security & healthy development. They provide essential items to keep children safe, warm and dry by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing and equipment. In 2017 they distributed over 1.4 million diapers to families in need, and served 46,000 children in western King County. Their model is unique. They receive donations from the community, check and sort those donations, and distribute them directly to 114 partner agencies, who are experts in their families, and the children they serve. These professionals get the items the children need, and WestSide Baby can focus on collecting the basic essentials.

Press Contact

Jeannette Tarcha
Vice President, Communications & Marketing
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA  98104

Phone : (206) 623-5338
Fax : (206) 623-5333


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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
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Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5300
Toll Free (800) 304-9474
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
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Green Flag Bldg #210
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Anchorage, AK 99501
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