News Room

A Message from our Executive Director

September 2021

Hello Friends

These fall days remind me of coming home after school to find my mom with her day’ a table full of jars of canned goods that we would enjoy year-round. Jams, jellies, tomatoes, pickles.  When people hear that I grew up in a large family and lived on the farm, the next question is “did you have a big garden?” While my mom was a lot of wonderful things, a good gardener was not one of them. Her theory was that we should let the weeds grow so they shade the plants. That worked for me, but it didn’t work out well for the harvest.

So how was she able to preserve an entire wall filled with canned goods if we let the weeds shade the plants? Enter Grandma Terhaar. Grandma Terhaar wasn’t my actual grandma; she was my oldest sister’s mother-in-law. Grandma Terhaar generously gave produce to my family for us to enjoy throughout the summer and for my mom to preserve.  We would take our old dusty station wagon and drive on a road that seemed more like a dirt bike trail than a road, hoping that we wouldn’t meet another vehicle or tractor. A visit to Grandma Terhaar’s wasn’t complete without her inviting us in for something sweet. Looking back, I now recognize what she did for our family, how she supported my mom. Grandma Terhaar passed away when I was in college. There isn’t a summer that goes by that I don’t think of her kindness and generosity.

What may seem like a small act to you can leave a big impact on others. There are many studies that show kindness and generosity have a ripple effect. Take some time to share and spread kindness today. Consider becoming a Big. Or, if you already are a mentor, share your story with a friend. You never know who you’ll inspire along the way. 

Jackie Johnson
Executive Director