About The Founder
Other than surviving the economic downturn after graduating from Spring Hill College in 2009, I experienced what seemed to be another downturn. This time, I did not think I could survive it. In 2014, I experienced a life changing event and discovered that I would be a first time MOM! Pause for a moment of silence please just to process the word, “mom.” Wait, what happened? I was on track with my career path in the financial industry, I was preparing for graduate school, I had just relocated (again!) and I was engaged! So, I was pretty clear about my goals and objectives during that time of my life and I was certain that becoming a mother without proper planning was not on the agenda. Needless to say, MY life plan was an epic fail! Or, so I thought……….. 🙂
As I reminisce about my past years, many of my best memories revolved around providing some sort of assistance to someone. As a matter of fact, my family demonstrated this good deed best. My family’s motto is no matter the severity of your situation; there is always someone in a worse situation who can use your help. I was unaware at the time that my family’s philanthropic values would form the basis for what would later become my desire to be an active leader within my community.
Unexpectedly and with great disbelief, I became the one who needed some help. Upon the birth of my son, I was unemployed and our savings account was at an end. But, without hesitation, my family stepped in and provided some much needed assistance to help us live comfortably and adequately provide for our newborn baby. There were resources available for food and housing assistance. However, those resources did not fulfill my primary need at that time. I was not able to locate a local resource to provide diapers, wipes and other various care products for my infant, which was what I needed. Regardless of my circumstances and my inability to provide as a parent, I could not magically stop my child from needing what was necessary for him on a daily basis until I resumed employment. On the other hand, my child was not capable of seeking employment to supply his own needs! Not only were we blessed, but our baby was blessed to have the unprecedented love and support of family.
Needless to say, there are so many children within our community who are not provided with the love and support that my child received during his time of need. For that reason alone, I embarked upon this path, striving to enhance the quality of life for our most vulnerable citizens by supplementing their needs that would otherwise be unmet. It is at this juncture, that I have a greater appreciation for my research experience as an undergraduate student in college and as a professional within the financial industry.
As a challenge, Professor Hall encouraged our group of volunteer students to search for sponsors and grants to help fund the development and expansion of our research project. Indeed, this was a challenge because hundreds of volunteer hours were necessary to complete the task. It was at that moment, when I completely understood the importance of research and the impact that a few proactive individuals can have on peoples’ lives and their communities. Furthermore, I began to understand how the social responsibility of communities affect its ability to bring about social change.
As far as I can remember, citizens within the deprived communities voiced their opinions and disappointments regarding their unmet needs. Furthermore, there was a continuous cycle of how funds were not available support their needs. This is very personal to me. I have experienced what it is like to not be able to solely meet my child’s needs. But through it all, I was blessed by a supportive family and friends. In addition, I recall schoolmates not having basic hygiene necessities and I do not recall talks of how the community fell short of the resources that would help to better the quality of life for the youth regarding this matter. However, that same blessing was not shared with so many youth of my time as a child and unfortunately, that is still the case today. Because of the latter, I became more intrigued and proactive about implementing a support system; without realizing that it would be through this means that I would learn to perform my passion – love of service for children.
~Tammy M. Ruffin~
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