Sarah Kirby, Family Promise’s newest board member, says she was attracted to our organization because it meets a unique need in suburbia—for people who need help and people who need to help.
This translates into families with kids who have a home helping families with kids who need one.
“It’s so easy to live in our own little bubble and ignore the unseen problems around us,’’ she says. “Working homeless families are a completely underserved population.’’
Sarah, who lives in Ridgewood with her husband Tom and their two sons, ages 8 and 6, says it’s particularly important for children who live in comfortable circumstances to understand what they have and what others don’t.
Many children in communities such as Ridgewood “have no concept whatsoever’’ about the kind of poverty that leads to homelessness, she says. “Some people would say it’s good that children are sheltered. I don’t agree. Kids are inherently self-centered, so it’s important to expose them, to show, ‘Not everyone has what you have.’’’
Sarah grew up in the Philadelphia area and moved to Bergen County after Tom, who works for Deutsche Bank, was transferred back to the USA from London. Now she’s a Montvale-based director of independence/risk management for KPMG, the international accounting and professional services firm. She previously worked for PwC and practiced law for several years. (She’s a graduate of the Fordham Law School.)
She sees one of Family Promise’s biggest looming challenges as fund-raising, especially as we look to help more families. Whatever the next response to family homelessness, she says, “Family Promise is incredibly well-positioned to do something.’’