My name is Robyn Zimmer, and I am the creator of Embrace the Difference®. My son Sam was my inspiration, and is still my inspiration to continue my mission of leaving this world a better place for him, and for all of us.
Here's our story:
When Sam was two years old he was not speaking and I knew there was something off. We addressed his hearing issues with tubes and speech therapy which allowed him to catch up. In kindergarten, we knew there were other issues. He was diagnosed with ADHD. As the years went on, learning disabilities started to surface and finally he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 14.
Raising Sam was quite an adventure. Each new school year brought new challenges that had to be faced. But Sam has an amazing gift. He astounds people by his ability to read people’s emotions. Many people have taken Sam under their wing through the years, embracing and accepting his differences. Because of this, Sam was able to grow into the amazing young man he is today.
A poem I love by Edwin Markham inspired me to create the Embrace the Difference® symbol:
“He drew a circle that shut me out- Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle and took him In!”
I designed the symbol (a single square embraced by circles), and the jewelry line was soon to follow.
Sam is now an adult with special needs and this brings on a whole new set of challenges. It is my hope and dream that this symbol and message will spread! I will not always be here to protect my son and it is my wish to leave a more tolerant and accepting world for Sam and for each of us.
After I created the symbol and the jewelry line was manufactured, I knew that the mission behind this jewelry (and now, apparel and gifts, too!) had to be to give back to the types of organizations that helped my son flourish. To date, we have donated over $450,000 to Charities mainly in Western New York.
We support every kind of charitable organization. From special needs, to chronic pain, to rescue animals, to chronic and terminal illness support and research… our mission is to connect with everyone, as we are all fighting our own battles. Yet, our message remains the same: BE KIND. We are all connected. Embrace our differences, and MAKE a difference.