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An Unexpected Legacy of Giving

An Unexpected Legacy of Giving

Second Harvest Heartland recently received two very generous legacy gifts. The gifts were quite unexpected, but it was the story they revealed about the connection of two lifelong donors that was the true surprise.

The late Vera Likins and Alice Hummer left us their bequest gifts in the same manner in which they had made their lifetime giving: quietly and without fanfare. The gifts Vera and Alice left will help make transformational changes in the lives of many for countless years to come, a fact that indeed deserves fanfare.

The two selfless women passed away three years apart and besides sharing a generous spirit, they appeared to share no connection—until Alice's obituary revealed a detail that deserves to be shared. They were sisters. We asked Alice's daughter to share the story of two sisters who would affect so many lives.

Alice and Vera grew up in southern Minnesota during the depression. A modest family income from their father's carpentry business taught them to live frugally and appreciate the ability to provide for the necessities in life. It was these early lessons that shaped the sisters' philanthropic interests later in life.

A move to the Twin Cities brought new educational and employment opportunities. Vera, a University of Minnesota graduate, worked in civil service for the state of Minnesota, and was recognized for her effort and commitment with an appointment to the post of Commissioner of Public Welfare by Governor Wendell Anderson. Alice held various community positions, including a time as a Chicago area Red Cross official. She retired from the State of Minnesota Board of Pharmacy and is remembered by family and friends for her deep devotion to her family and generous love for all.

Although five years apart in age, the sisters were extremely close—a bond they both treasured. They shared not only a love for travel but also a strong desire to help others and give back to their communities. They privately discussed the organizations each felt important to support, with their focus on human services and higher education. Second Harvest Heartland was high on their list because of our ability to fulfill a basic need—providing food for hungry children, families and seniors. The sisters realized and appreciated the efficiencies of our organization and our ability to utilize every dollar of their gift to its greatest potential. Values carried with them from their childhood.

As wonderful as it would have been to meet and thank Alice and Vera in person, we are grateful to have made their connection, and we're proud to include the sisters in a special place among the Second Harvest Heartland family.


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