Lisa grew up in northwest Chicago, left for a while in her early 20’s to see the coasts, but returned to Chicago, and at heart is Chicagoan. So then why does she give to Feeding South Dakota? Well it all started when she was 15 years old. We’ll get there in a minute, but first let me give you a little bit of a background on Lisa. Lisa was born and raised in an upper middle-class suburb of northwest Chicago. Grew up in a family where for the most part everything was taken care of. She shared clothes with her sisters, but never had to wear hand me downs or wonder where her next meal was going to come from.
So how did a girl from an upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago end up in South Dakota? At the age of 15, she went on a mission trip to South Dakota, more specifically to Standing Rock. It was here her life was forever changed, it was here where she learned to stand on her faith. It was in South Dakota where she witnessed first-hand how different her life was back home. She learned what she thought was the status quo, wasn’t, and how people are affected by poverty. She saw how she had taken for granted simple everyday decisions that in the face of hunger become difficult to make. This is where her life of giving back began. Today, at 37, and at a point in her life where she is now able to financially give back, she ontinues to volunteer when able at home and abroad. Making trips to Nicaragua and Brazil, sitting on the board of a local non-profit, and giving to a local food bank are all part of her life – but she still continues to give back to Feeding South Dakota where it all began.
When asked why she became a monthly donor, she shared that she knew she wanted to give back to “something real.” With her research she learned that Feeding South Dakota has a good charity navigator rating and that 95%* of the money raised goes back into the five program areas. She’s happy knowing where the money is going, and that Feeding South Dakota are good stewards of that money. She doesn’t have to remember to send her money every month as it’s just done automatically. She enjoys receiving the quarterly newsletters that share the faces and stories of real people from South Dakota whom she is helping. In other words, she’s glad to give direct support, saying, “If I can’t be the hands doing the work, let me enable the hands that are”.
In closing, Lisa shared her personal philosophy. She said, “Comfort isn’t the goal of life. We aren’t meant to be comfortable, we aren’t meant to glide through it. We’re meant to come together in the face of struggle and take care of each other, and we all need to show compassion and love our neighbors. There are so many ways to invest yourself, good causes and good works out there – we can all do something to give back.” In giving back, she has found faith, community, love, and deeply encourages others to do the same. To learn how you can become a monthly donor like Lisa, visit FeedingSouthDakota.org/Donate
* 95% of all donations received, including cash as well as donated food and services, help support feeding hungry people throughout South Dakota.