Why I Give – Lisa Morina

Our donors and volunteers make the community a better place for our children and families. In our series, Why I Give, we put the spotlight on some of the generous individuals helping to move our communities forward.  

Here's an insider's look into why Lisa Morina has shared her time and talents to further our mission since 2000.

Lisa Morina and Anthony DiFabio pose for Acenda Merger & Brand Launch July 2019
When did you first get involved with Acenda? 

My first encounter with Acenda was in 1999-2000 when my family needed resources. Robins’ Nest (now Acenda) was there to help steer us through a difficult time. A few years later, when I worked for the County of Gloucester, I was able to see close-up the impact Acenda had on the community through the Community Development Block Grant program that helped support some of the provided services. I was incredibly honored to further become part of such a dynamic organization when I was asked to join the board.

What attracted you to the Acenda mission?

Acenda's mission ensures that children, individuals and families have the tools and support to be successful, which in turn, helps to strengthen our communities.Being part of something that builds better lives is really a spiritual gift and helping others is good for the soul.

Why do you volunteer/donate?

I truly subscribe to the notion that everyone has time, talent and treasures that should be shared with others. No matter how vibrant a community may be, there is always someone who may need a helping hand. It is up to those of us who have these resources to give back when and as we can. If not me, who? Besides, giving back feels good!

What motivates you to stay involved? In your opinion, what is the most important work that Acenda does?

One of the things I find most impressive about Acenda is how focused the organization is on providing not only what is needed in the community today, but looking forward to what will be needed in the future. As board members, it’s our job to ensure the resources are there to serve the community for the long term, even if it means getting creative in our thought process. Making sure that not one person, not one family that could have been helped is left behind is my motivation.

What do you hope Acenda will achieve in the near future? In the long term?

If nothing else, this year (2020) has shown us that everything changes. My hope for Acenda is to have the resources to overcome whatever challenges may lie ahead. This organization will continue to thrive and grow for many, many years to come, not just for people we serve, but also to be there for the amazing staff at Acenda who really dedicate their expertise to make a difference.

Do you have an anecdote about Acenda that really moved you?

A client who shared her personal story at last year’s Acenda merger celebration described in detail how every step of the way someone at Acenda was there to guide her, teach her and support her as she made her way into adulthood. I was so proud when I heard how the staff went the extra mile to make a difference, even helping her get a driver’s license. I couldn’t stop thinking about it without smiling for weeks!

Why is being a donor so important to you?

Organizations such as Acenda are constantly challenged to provide the services the community needs under increasingly tightened budgets. Donor support helps bridge potential gaps to make sure supportive programs don’t disappear in a time when they are most needed.

What would you tell to others interested in getting involved with Acenda?

Volunteerism comes in many forms. No matter how big or small, your involvement WILL make a difference.

Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your Acenda story! If you are interested in getting involved with Acenda visit our get involved page or email development@acendahealth.org for upcoming opportunities. View our other "Why I give" interviews, here.