My Legacy Experience by Tedd Mills

I’d like to share some of my experiences that I’ve had the privilege of having through my leadership within Legacy Initiative. When Travis first approached me over four years ago with the idea of wanting to make a difference in the community and by becoming the change we wish to see in the world, I was completely on board and wanted to be a part of something bigger and something that would last well beyond my lifetime. The name Legacy Initiative has a profound and powerful meaning: Legacy meaning that what we choose to accomplish today will continue through the years, and Initiative meaning if you see something that needs to be done or changed, just do it. Don’t wait for someone else or think that it’s someone else’s responsibility.


I have had the great honor and privilege of rubbing shoulders with so many extraordinary volunteers who continue to inspire me, tirelessly provide altruistic service and support, as well as to personify what a real life superhero is. I truly am blessed to be a part of this organization, and when I take a moment to reflect upon where we started to where we are today, it is simply amazing! To me, we are a family, a Legacy family. And while we may not be blood related, we share a kinship and a bond that can stand the test of time. From the organization of the Feed the Streets Outreach to the adventures of patrolling with the Red Team; from tearing down and re-building a shed for the Green Team to the fundraising efforts of the development and resources team. As Travis would say, we are the spokes of one wheel that will continue to roll forward toward progress and success. And we are successful as an entire organization!


I have also met some beautiful brothers and sisters, which we have had the privilege of serving during this time. The first one who comes to mind is John Burt. I met him about two years ago. He was struggling on the streets despite his best efforts. His story, while unique, speaks to me that he’s a human being and supports what we are trying to accomplish within Legacy, of restoring dignity and providing hope. He serves on the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB) of the 4th Street clinic, providing insight and firsthand experiences of what he sees on the streets and offering ideas and suggestions on how to solve some of the issues he and his fellow brothers and sisters face day in and day out. He watches out for his fellow brothers and sisters on the streets. I’ve seen him purchase coffee for himself and for a friend with small monetary donations that he receives from time to time. I’ve sat across the table with him and listened to his story of how he was a butcher for so many years and has troubles with his wrists and can no longer hold things due to the strain that puts on them. I’ve witnessed his love and compassion for those who have lost their lives while living on the streets during the candlelight vigils that are held in Pioneer Park downtown in November. His story is one of many others who we’ve had the honor and privilege of serving over the years.


What I try and accomplish within the organization, is to provide direction and perspective. Perspective that I am no different from anyone else, other than that my life path has been a little different and I have been truly blessed for some reason. It is not us and them, it is not you and me. But it is all about we. I try to lead by example and do what I can to continue the legacy that Travis started. I am accountable for my actions and responsible for my commitments. I believe in honesty and transparency.  I believe in leaving life, situations, and people better than when I found them. And if there is anything that I can do to make someone else’s burden lighter or easier, I will do what I can to make that happen. I feel that I am truly a blessed individual in so many aspects of my life, and Legacy Initiative will always hold a special place in my heart now and forever!


–By Tedd Mills, President and Co-Founder of The Legacy Initiative