Ann T. Hardiman, who passed away in November, 2018, spent most of her life surrounded by and inspiring children. In her youth, she pulled the younger kids around in her red wagon along the streets in her neighborhood in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Years later, as an educator in the local high school, some of those same children would gather in her classroom, learning English and journalism. Her classroom was a kind of community unto itself, a place where children explored the world of ideas and the arts. Ann wanted her students to have wider horizons. To know there was a bigger world, to know that they weren’t stuck. She even took some of her students to museums and theater in New York City. As a teacher, and later as a guidance counselor, it was clear that no matter what was going on around them, Ann’s students knew they were valued. More than a few of those children stayed in touch with Ann over the years.
We never met Ann, but what we’ve learned about her makes us feel an immediate kinship. And the reflections from those who knew her only deepen the connection:
“She treated me like a grown-up before my time.”
“She was courageous and forthright, and a person to
“Ann’s fierce intelligence and grit inspired me from an early age.”
“She was vibrant. She was not passive in any part of her life.”
“She was the kind of person who loved life and was full of vibrancy and cared about causes.”
“She cared about poor people. She cared about kids.”
Ann didn’t have any of her own children. She knew she wanted her life savings to go to helping people, and she requested that two trusted friends select appropriate nonprofits to be the recipients. We’re grateful and honored that the “charitable advisors,” Sister Catherine Patten of the Religious Sacred Heart of Mary (one of the children who rode in the red wagon!), and Susan Fry Mamis, were diligent in honoring Ann’s memory with contributions that reflect her lifelong values and passions — among them, making sure that children have the brightest futures imaginable.
Your donations this holiday seasons are being matched by the Ann T. Hardiman Fund, honoring Ann’s legacy of caring for and inspiring children.
(Up to $100,000 for a total of $200,000 raised)