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Longtime volunteer and supporter leaves a legacy through planned giving

April 18, 2017

When Ellen Wesson first toured Sojourner Center more than seven years ago, she knew right away she had found her cause.

After retiring, Ellen made the decision to devote much of her time volunteering and giving back to her community. She wanted to support an organization whose mission she felt deeply connected to.

Ellen had always volunteered on and off throughout her life, and domestic violence was an issue that resonated with her. After doing some research online, Ellen signed up for that first tour and has been volunteering at Sojourner Center nearly every week since.

“I just knew this was the kind of organization I wanted to be a part of,” Wesson says, reflecting on her decision to support Sojourner Center. “There are a lot of great programs here. Sojourner Center isn’t just taking people in for the night. These programs help women and children change their lives for the better.”

Ellen has spent countless hours at Sojourner Center over the past seven years volunteering in many roles throughout the organization. Currently, Ellen supports the organization’s Advancement department helping to keep Sojourner Center’s donor database updated. She has done everything from sorting clothes and merchandising displays in the Donation Resource Center, to working events, to developing a proposal to rehab our former Hope Campus facility, and working in the office providing general administrative assistance.

Ellen says her commitment to Sojourner Center and the women and children it serves has only increased over the years. “These are my people. I’m committed to the mission, the staff, and the residents we serve. Having been personally impacted by domestic violence, I want to help the women who go through that. This is my main gig.”

In addition to her countless volunteer hours and financial gifts throughout the years, Ellen recently made the decision to leave a legacy gift to Sojourner Center through her estate plan. “The process was very easy,” said Wesson.

When asked for advice she’d give others considering leaving an estate gift to Sojourner Center, Wesson said, “It’s like finding a job – follow your passion. If you’re passionate about a cause or charity, then you should help them. Put your money where your heart is. I may not have the money of Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, but I’m going to do what I can.”

Ellen Wesson’s legacy at Sojourner Center is profound and enduring, as is her more private contribution to transforming lives through her planned gift. To learn how you can make a lasting difference for women, men, children and pets impacted by domestic violence, please contact Katie Jensen, director of advancement, at kjensen@sojournercenter.org.

The Sojourner Center family would like to thank Ellen for her support over the years — it has truly made a difference in the lives of the people we serve.