Her parents were farmers in South Dakota, Christian people who took tithing seriously. Lucy Ham was taught from an early age to give 10 percent of everything she earned, whether it was money earned at home or on the job. For her family, it was Biblical, and she learned from an early age that we reap what we sow.
"My parents inspired my charitable values," said Lucy. "We were farmers and had many difficult years. However, my parents always gave 10 percent, plus our family always had lots of extra people at our table and gave a lot of food and things to others. If anyone was in need, we shared the little we had and there was always enough. God is always bountiful in blessing."
As a past chair of the Flushing Area Community Advisory Committee, Lucy understands the power of endowment and preserving assets for the next generation. She supports the Fund because she sees the impact of the Fund's grantmaking, and is grateful to the many donors who give year after year.
"Philanthropy is a lot of doing the right thing," Lucy says. "When we see a need, we need to fill it. God gave me everything I am and have. To whom much is given, much is required."
Her pathway to success wasn't easy. A divorced mother, she moved to the Flushing area and found real estate to be a flexible career that fit with her family responsibilities. She formed relationships with her clients, enjoyed a successful career and founded Lucy Ham Group in 2000 in downtown Flushing. Eight years later, during the height of the great recession, she started Ham Commercial. Lucy takes great pride in the success of both companies.
She considered forming a private family foundation as a way to give back, but found that she could make a great impact on the Flushing Area Community Fund Advisory Committee. Being involved with the local Fund "has helped me learn a lot and support my belief in giving from a young age."
"Giving of one's time, hospitality, and attention are all a part of philanthropy," she says. My service on the Advisory Committee has been very inspirational to me."
"People will forget what you said, what you did, but will remember how you made them feel. This is how I want to be as a person."-Tyler Perry
This is one of Lucy's favorite quotes. "This is how I want to be as a person," she adds.