By Ellen Timmerman-Borer, Chief Development Officer

All good men and women must take responsibility to create legacies that will take the next generation to a level we could only imagine.
~ Jim Rohn

Earlier this fall, Hammer hosted a Legacy Writing workshop that has compelled me to reflect on the meaning of legacy. To me, a legacy is something of significance created by positive actions and based on consistent values. At Hammer, we have come together to support people with disabilities with respect and dignity throughout their lifetime. That is our collective legacy. In our 91 years, we have created something significant; legacy abounds.

ellen legacy 3

Today, we have built upon the foundation which Alvina Hammer constructed with her own money, and her own heart. Those we serve have better lives now than when Hammer first opened her school in Minneapolis. Each day we continue to learn and advocate, making everyone’s life a fulfilling life. We continue to educate, legislate and sometimes to fight just like Alvina did, but today we have more partners like you: family, volunteers, donors, community members who believe in a better life for people with disabilities. I believe Hammer’s legacy is not a cause; it is a way of life. It is what you and I do every day. Show up and be open to understanding people’s wants and needs. It’s about building lifelong relationships that matter.

ellen legacy 1

This is Andy. We have known each other for 30 years. He was one of 14 guys who showed me the ropes when I first started at Hammer. A few weeks ago, I stopped at Andy’s new Hammer home to drop off a donation. Andy was talking to his brother who lives in Chicago, his Sunday night ritual.  When he finished his conversation, I greeted him and although he seemed to have lost my name, that seems to happen with age, we made a connection. He smiled, his eyes sparkled and we felt joy. Andy, along with all of those we serve have tugged at my heart strings. They keep me here, feeling blessed to do this work each day.

Andy and those we serve in our homes and through support services need all of us to come together with talent, time and treasure. It is a simple fact of operating our nonprofit business. Let’s continue our legacy together by believing in the abilities of all people. Help us to support people in exactly the ways that they want and need now and into the future.

Join us on November 13 and Give to the Max or go to www.hammer.org/giving to make a gift throughout the year.

Be a part of our collective legacy at Hammer.