By Judy Krasna, Executive Director
As you probably know by now, we are in the middle of a fundraising campaign titled “Give Thanks to F.E.A.S.T.” which will run through November 24. I am holding my breath until then, waiting to see whether we will meet our goal. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t stressed about it; I feel like we put our best effort into the appeal, and I hope that you will all take a minute to donate if you haven’t done so already.
I love that our fundraising campaign is all about gratitude. I personally have so much to be thankful for as the Executive Director of F.E.A.S.T.
I am incredibly grateful for my job. I was searching for a career that gave me more satisfaction than my event planning business. I needed to do something meaningful and significant, something that helped people, especially after I lost my daughter. This job is challenging, and it’s a big adjustment for me to work full time, but I absolutely love it, and I am so honored to be in this position to lead F.E.A.S.T.
I am unbelievably grateful to the dedicated parent support volunteers who I get to work with, and who inspire me with their infinite capacity for kindness, their remarkable wisdom, and their tireless commitment to helping other parents. They are my inspiration, my role models, and my heroes. Some of them are struggling personally, but they always show up for others. They are F.E.A.S.T.’s greatest asset, and we are so lucky to have them all.
I am extraordinarily grateful to our Board of Directors, who are not only competent and thoughtful leaders, they are phenomenal people as well. This has been a year of renewal, revival, and overhaul for F.E.A.S.T. and they have stepped up and taken on a lot of responsibility. I am honored to call you all not only my colleagues, but my friends as well.
Our Board Chair, Ellen Ewing, deserves a special mention. She works full time in a high level executive position and still manages to find the time to meet with me weekly and to be present for committee meetings and other F.E.A.S.T. commitments, not to mention all of the work that she does behind the scenes. Ellen’s practical thinking, organizational skills, and keen intelligence serve us very well at F.E.A.S.T., and I am thankful for her every day!
I am immensely grateful to our all-star Advisory Panel for their constant willingness to offer their professional knowledge to the parents in our community and to support F.E.A.S.T. in any way possible.
I am extremely grateful to all of the F.E.A.S.T. ambassadors around the world who work tirelessly as advocates on behalf of other families and who make sure that F.E.A.S.T. is out there for families to find when they need our help the most. I appreciate all of you and all of your work; you are making a difference. And thank you to the volunteer committee members who are helping to build a strong infrastructure for F.E.A.S.T. that will sustain and grow our organization.
It’s rare that I can’t find the words that I am looking for to express myself, but this is one of those occasions. I cannot adequately express my deep and everlasting gratitude to my predecessor, mentor, and friend, F.E.A.S.T. founder Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh. No one has taught me more, inspired me more, or influenced me more than Laura, and no one could have left bigger shoes to fill. I can’t begin to describe how knowing Laura has changed me and has left me a better person. It has also prepared me for my role as Executive Director. While every single one of us has Laura to thank for the vital organization that F.E.A.S.T. is today, I am in the unique position to understand the enormity of Laura’s contributions to F.E.A.S.T. that will remain for posterity, and not a day goes by without my recognizing or appreciating that.
I am blessed with a wonderful staff of talented and capable people who help me do my job every day, and I am thankful for all of their contributions. I couldn’t do this job without them.
And lastly, I am inordinately grateful to all of you parents out there. You are F.E.A.S.T. You never cease to impress me with your strength, your fortitude, your determination, your resolve, your grit, and your perseverance. No matter what you are all facing, you always manage to help others who are struggling. You use your lived experience to benefit others, you share parts of your lives that are raw and painful, you give of yourselves endlessly, and you are so unfailingly kind and gracious. You are what makes F.E.A.S.T. more than just an organization; you make F.E.A.S.T. a community, a family. You are the best part of my job, and I am so thankful to F.E.A.S.T. for that!
You can #Givethanks2FEAST by offering your financial support during our critical fundraising campaign.