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Thank you, Donna Anderson

Donna Anderson, one of FamilyForward’s longest serving leaders, is leaving the board of directors after more than 20 years of generously sharing her servant heart.


Donna Anderson is leaving the FamilyForward Board of Directors as of July 2024.

Donna Anderson is leaving the FamilyForward Board of Directors in July 2024. Over the past 20+ years, Anderson has touched countless lives, sharing her talents and gifts in a wide variety of ways at FamilyForward, all focused on the mission to help low-income, working families in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.


As one of FamilyForward’s longest serving leaders, Anderson has been deeply involved since the start. She was a driving force behind the formation of FamilyForward (formerly known as Faith Community Homes) in 2003. Serving on the board of directors since its inception, she was also the second person to serve as board chair. In a variety of board positions over more than two decades of serving, she has contributed significantly to the overall development of this organization. She has also coordinated, collaborated on, and served at many events and activities to power the work of FamilyForward, making a difference directly in the lives of local families. Learn more about Donna.


Reflecting on FamilyForward’s impact

As Anderson prepares to move on, we asked her to reflect on the impact of this organization on the community over the years: “Sometimes, bad things happen to good people. FamilyForward doesn't make judgment, but instead offers the support to move forward to a life full of hope and promise. It truly sets an example of ‘doing unto to others as you would have them do unto you.’”


Additionally, as finding affordable housing becomes more difficult and building a secure and financially stable life only grows more challenging across the northwest suburbs, Donna points to the unique importance of FamilyForward’s work. “FamilyForward continues to bring awareness to the issues affecting low-income families, and then advocates for solutions. Affordable housing, yes, but opening eyes to how government rules and regulations often work against families, rather than for them. I am awed by how FamilyForward responds to those families who fall through the cracks.”


FamilyForward has also impacted Anderson’s life and perspective: “How honored and humbled I am to have been with Faith Community Homes / FamilyForward from the beginning and to have watched it evolve to better meet the needs of those willing to work toward a better life. I will miss the friends I have made and for whom I have the utmost respect.” Serving alongside so many others dedicated to helping families, too, has been particularly rewarding: “Working with amazing, remarkable volunteers and staff, and hearing about family successes…. I marvel at the commitment of the mentors. ‘Our’ families/clients are truly blessed by the sharing of their talents.”


A servant heart on the move

As for what’s next for Anderson, she and her husband are moving back to Tulsa, Okla., where they both attended the University of Tulsa. Donna notes that as they settle into their new home, she plans to find a church that is dedicated to community outreach. “Oh yes, they need to have good music, too,” says the long-time church choir director.


Volunteerism is in Anderson’s blood, so she plans to put her passion for helping others into action immediately. She has already started the process to begin volunteering at the Tulsa Family Safety Center, which provides free and confidential assistance to people experiencing domestic violence.

 

 Anderson’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude will be greatly missed. But the silver lining is that Donna has become a board member emerita, willing to chime in with ideas and advice. Thank you for sharing your servant heart, Donna!

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