Dave and Lynne Anderson
Dave and Lynne Anderson are passionate about NAM. And it all started one Sunday morning, 23 years ago.
While attending a class at their local church, the Andersons heard about an idea for a new program to serve families who were homeless. Dave followed up with a phone call, and was invited to serve on the steering committee for what became the Interfaith Hospitality Network at NAM.
That first step led to a lifestyle of service that involved their entire family. While Dave helped lead and launch the IHN program, Lynne began volunteering in the food pantry at NAM, then the Children's Clinic, and later as a counselor in the Assistance program. She was even on staff in the finance department for about three years. Their two daughters joined in whenever possible, growing up with their parents' example of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. "It brought balance to our lives, and purpose," says Dave. "It's a good way to remind us of what really important in life, and not become self-consumed."
When the time came to look at their will, Dave and Lynne wanted to make sure charity was included. So they designated several planned gifts, including a bequest to NAM. "NAM is a big part of our lives," says Lynne. "It's what we believe in, and it was a core part of our family life for so many years. I just think it's a great organization."
Dave adds, "It always amazed me that NAM had people who were so compassionate, and really cared about people, but were also very pragmatic and said we need to run this like a business. I think they do a really good job of balancing that without becoming cynical."
Dave and Lynne recently returned from a two-year work assignment in London. When they got back, they had another chance to see just how much NAM has impacted our community.
In the course of replacing a car, they called to ask about donating their old one to IHN. The director of the program, Karen Weakly, said she had just spoken with a client that day who had found a job but needed transportation. Dave and Lynne went with Karen to the courthouse to transfer the car to NAM. In the process, they met a courthouse employee who had been a former client of IHN. Then, when they transferred the title, the woman working at that desk said, "NAM save my life. If it wasn't for you, I don't know what I would have done."
"To me, NAM is just magical," Dave said. "We live in a bubble, somewhat. We have our little community, and we don't worry about whether we can put food on the table." But growing up, he says, his parents lived on a tight budget, as did Lynne's. "We come from that, so we recognize there are a lot of people who live day to day," he says. "And it doesn't take much to upset them."
When those upsets come, NAM is here, ready to help. And thanks to the generous investment of time and finances from neighbors like the Anderson's, NAM intends to be here for generations to come. (Featured in Summer/Fall 2015 NAM Endowment Fund Newsletter)