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 Nancy Kowalik has shared her time and talents to further our mission since 2003.
Why do you volunteer/donate?
Helping the local community is very important to me. Being able to make a difference is what I have ALWAYS focused on. I have especially loved sponsoring a group home at the holidays, to create that feeling of warmth and community that we all cherish. Many forgotten youth have no idea what that looks like. I remember decorating Acenda’s (formerly Robins’ Nest) group home for five young ladies. We were supposed to be alone in the house, but there were a few girls that were still there. When they saw what we were doing, they made us cupcakes. A bit later, we had left five teddy bears, with post-it notes that read "You are LOVED" on each one. I was told that the girls cried when they received them. YOU can make a difference.
When did you get involved with Acenda?
I first got involved with Acenda nearly twenty years ago when I was the owner of the Country Christmas Shoppe here in Mullica Hill. I was asked to donate items for a basket to "Robins Nest." I loved that this local group sponsored girls who needed a foundation, girls that were helping themselves, but that needed help with housing.
In your opinion, what is the more important work that Acenda does?
The fact that Robins Nest grew into Acenda, and reaches out to help our community including veterans and their families, single moms, and the elderly here in South Jersey, makes me very proud to be associated with the organization every day.
Why is being a donor so important to you?
The rhetoric of "helping" does not always make it to the recipient. People need to know they are cared for and loved. Everyday. They need to know they matter, and that they can make a difference. A portion of every sale that happens with my real estate company means we donate that portion to Acenda, and they use these donations to make a difference where it is needed most.