Many families look for ways that they can give as a family. Giving provides teachable moments for children to learn about generosity and gratefulness. I wrote about one organization called Doing Good Together that offers many suggestions. Today’s organization provides direct connections between families who wish to give and families that have a need.
In the fall of 2002, the New York Times ran a series of articles on poverty in the United States. One article featured stories of poverty from Pembroke, Illinois where “some still live in crumbling shacks with caked-dirt floors and no running water.” The article went on with other staggering statistics such as 98% of their school children qualify for free lunch and the average per capita income was less than half the national average.
Pam Koner, a mom and entrepreneur living in Westchester, New York, read that article and felt compelled to help. She contacted an outreach worker in Pembroke to share her idea of linking families she knew with the neediest families in Pembroke. She was given the names of seventeen families and then convinced sixteen friends and neighbors to help. They began sending monthly boxes of food and letters – one family linked to another family. The seventeen families quickly grew to 60 families, then after a flurry of media attention, they grew to 900 families linked across the United States. The Family-to-Family organization was born.
They currently help approximately 2,000 moms, dads and kids in 22 communities across the United States. Families sponsored through the program continue to be identified by local outreach partners who have specific knowledge of the needs of families in their communities.
Learn about the founding of Family-to-Family directly from founder Pam Koner in the following video:
The mission of Family-to-Family is to alleviate suffering, one American family at a time. They started by providing groceries to supply seven dinner type meals for a family of five, but have expanded to help families in need in a variety of ways including sponsoring meals for families, a variety of literacy projects, donating seeds to a family to grow their own garden, and much more.
Learn about a recent addition to their program offerings where children in need are enabled to help other children in need to learn how it feels to give to others in the video below.
How can you help?
Family-to-Family offers a variety of opportunities to get involved.
- You can sponsor a family. They have multiple options on their website including packing and shipping your own sponsorship or sponsoring a family though an online donation.
- Give a child in need a birthday party including a gift, decorations, and a cake through the Birthday Giving Project.
- Give the gift of books through their Books for Life or One Book at a Time program.
- Help a family build their own garden by donating seeds to one of the Family-to-Family community partners.
- Help children with less learn how it feels to give by supporting the Giving Works program.
- Monetary donations can be made on their website. These donations help purchase food for families who are not currently sponsored, expand to additional communities, or general operating expenses.
- Explore the Family-to-Family website to find additional opportunities to help.
- You can also watch this video to see how you can help.
- You can also help by spreading the word. You can share this post using the share buttons below to encourage others to make a difference.