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Family Promise of Bergen County’s newest board member admits that she began volunteering with the organization partly for selfish reasons.

After giving birth to the last of her five children, Alina Albano wanted to get out of the house a bit and use her talents and skills to help others. Those talents and skills were considerable. A native Texan, Alina graduated from New York Law School and spent eight years as an associate at the law firm Cleary Gottlieb.

By 2014, she was ready to do something outside her Ridgewood home. She volunteered with Family Promise specifically because of its focus on helping families, most of which are headed by single mothers.

Initially, her professional experience was germane to her work on Family Promise’s marketing committee. But she’s also used her parenting skills as director of Family Promise’s Youth Council, a position she assumed in 2016. Alina especially likes working with “kids who are going to connect, take the initiative, and be willing to go above and beyond to help our families.’’

In that regard, youth council members have raised money by making seasonally-inspired cake pops and selling them at school, and by getting local restaurants to designate nights when a percentage of sales goes to Family Promise. Others have run toiletry-donation drives, babysat during Family Promise parent workshops and served as counselors at Camp Lots of Fun.  Last year, one girl organized a “penny war” between grades at her school that raised more than $1,000, and created and managed a “slime booth’’ at the Hike for Hope.

One day Alina was contacted by another Family Promise affiliate because a former Youth Council member had applied for a volunteer position in the town where she was attending college. “I was so excited to hear that!’’ she recalls.

Alina has high hopes for a future Family Promise Center, offering new opportunities for both teen and adult volunteers.  “I’m super excited about bringing volunteers back into direct contact with the families,’’ she says. “That was what attracted me to Family Promise.’’

Executive Director, Kate Duggan is thrilled that Alina is joining the Board.  “Alina brings new energy and a fresh perspective to Family Promise.  I’m looking forward to working with her especially on ways to engage young people in the mission of Family Promise.”