A photo of the Zimmermans at the hospital with bags to deliver

When Gabby was fighting her brain tumor, Gabby’s mom, Tammy, obviously spent time praying for her to get better. But, Tammy also spent a lot time thinking about what her world would look like when this was all over. Little did she know the amount of support she would have surrounding Gabby’s idea that other kids should have a Bag of Fun like hers. Tammy went to friends, family and anyone who would listen and asked them to help me make Gabby’s dream come true.

One of the relationships that came out of this was the Zimmerman’s. Tara and Royce got involved in this organization about 10 years in. They presented Bags of Fun with a model of philanthropy that we had never heard of and to be honest, never thought of. Tara and Royce were willing to put their story out there. The story of their daughter’s friend who passed away of a brain tumor at a young age, very similar to Gabby’s. Tara and Royce are extremely involved in the Colorado community and when they asked us about bringing their clients in to volunteer monthly, we were honored. What they really did, though, is change the way we look at philanthropy and how to engage people in Bags of Fun. Being involved with Tara’s and Royce’s monthly volunteer days has taught us that giving back creates relationships that can transform a program. From an organizational standpoint, we get to engage with new volunteers and donors each month and see the joy that volunteering gives them, while fulfilling Gabby’s dream that all kids in the fight of their lives get a Bag of Fun. Since Tara and Royce have been involved with Bags of Fun, we have grown from 300 Bags of Fun per year in Colorado to 500 per year. This growth is largely due to their long-term support and commitment to what we do. The entire Zimmerman family is committed to Bags of Fun. Their oldest Avery has done countless fundraisers for us, Charlie, Nora and Ruby are great ambassadors of the program, even doing TikTok videos for us.

Philanthropy is funny thing. People think about it lots of different ways; giving back, making a difference, being a part of the community. What we have learned is that philanthropy is all of those things. We know that people give to people. While we know whole-heartedly that the Bags of Fun program is amazing and that we are committed to continuing Gabby’s legacy, it is really the people around us that make a difference and are the reason that we can continue to give smiles to children in the fight of their lives.

If you want to learn more about how Tara and Royce stay passionate about giving back to the community and Bags of Fun, contact Tara at Royce Zimmerman and Associates. tara.zimmerman@nm.com. http://www.roycezimmerman.com/. Tara is an incredible resource, has wonderful ideas and is an amazing person.