Guest Blog by Ken Von Wald, EFAA’s departing Board President
It has been both an incredible honor and extremely humbling to serve the last 12 months as Board President for EFAA. The incredible honor comes from being a small part of the amazing impact EFAA has in our community. I’ve heard the stories of how EFAA excels in our nearly-century-old role in helping families whose immediate needs for food, shelter and other basic necessities cannot adequately be met by other means, supporting their efforts toward financial stability. I’ve watched EFAA operationalize and execute on our strategic plan, fully implementing new pilot programs that demonstrably improve outcomes for those we serve. I’ve come to understand how diligently we steward our resources to maximize our impact. I’ve come to know the committed, hard-working, caring, and talented staff combined with an army of wonderful volunteers make a profound difference in the lives of so many in our community. It is indeed an honor to be a donor and in service with a remarkably talented and engaged group on the Board of EFAA.
At the same time, it is humbling to see the incredible demand for EFAA. Prior to becoming involved with EFAA, like many, I was a bit out of touch with how many families struggle with the issues of hunger and housing in our community. For sure, my understanding of the challenges facing so many hard working families has grown tremendously through working with EFAA. I’ve come to realize that the grip of poverty is powerful and its impact isn’t easily overcome, especially when one is facing it alone. Fortunately, EFAA is there to serve families in crisis, and assist them in their efforts to create stability and gain self sufficiency.
It has been so encouraging to see how many support the work of EFAA, giving graciously of their time, talent, and money. I’ve had the privilege of thanking many of our donors. The most common response I hear goes something like “EFAA does a great job and plays such a vital role addressing a real need and I’m thrilled that I can help.” I couldn’t agree more with that sentiment. The most heartwarming responses, and I’ve heard this more than I would have imagined, are along the lines of “There was a time, several years ago, when I was having a tough time. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to feed my kids. EFAA was there for my family and will always have a place in my heart”. Whatever their reason, EFAA is so deeply appreciative of every one of our donors.
As my Board President term comes to an end, one valuable takeaway for me personally is that EFAA will always have an important place in my heart.