Finding Generosity and Kindness
— Pam Koner
Founder and Executive Director, Family-to-Family
In March of 2020, emails began to flood our Family-to-Family inbox with subject lines that read: “I want to help” and “Can I sponsor a family in need?” and “How’s the family I sponsor doing?” With the pandemic fueling panic for all of us, the outreach we received was unexpected — especially since we hadn’t even sent out a “call to action” appeal.
Little did we know that within a few months, we would almost double the size of our Family-to-Family “Sponsor a Family” program, our small staff working from home to match donors to families needing help.
The challenge for me has been to find balance and equanimity in both my personal and work life. Being able to sense the needs of my own family while I work to ensure the needs of families we help are met has been a true stretch for me. Only now do I feel the exhaustion of responsibility for thousands of struggling moms/dads/kids and grandparents — though it’s an exhaustion I’m proud to carry.
As things return to “normal,” it’s human nature, I believe, to return to old ways of being: generosity will find pre-set boundaries and we will have to work to find families eager to sponsor a family in need.
But having experienced such generosity of spirit and kindness from average American families eager to “share their bounty” with those among us with very little, I feel I have seen the best of us — and I am hopeful.