FFEN would like to introduce our new board member, Haley Nelson. We asked them a few questions to better get to know them and learn about the values that drive their work. Haley, you come to FFEN with a fairly extensive non-profit background. What drew you to that line of work initially? Can you speak a little on the values that have guided your work so far?
I come from a family where service to others is a core value. My family consists of teachers and healthcare professionals. Making my professional home in the non-profit sector felt like a natural fit for my both my skills and personal values. There are critical issues many of our friends and neighbors are facing each day, and I believe that by choosing to work in the non-profit sector, I have the opportunity to address these issues through partnering with volunteers to leverage their skills and interests to meet the needs of those who need it most.
One of my favorite quotes that fuels the work I do is by Martin Luther King Jr. “Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace.” I used to have this up by my desk and it reminds me of why I do what I do each day.
Do you see your work on FFEN’s board as diverging somewhat from your prior experience or as an extension of it?
I see my work with FFEN as a direct extension of my previous experience. Many of our food shelves statewide depend heavily on volunteers to run their daily operations. The way people are engaging in service and volunteering is changing and not all nonprofits are equipped for this shift. I see this as an opportunity to share my expertise in volunteer engagement to help propel FFEN’s work in the hunger relief sector. What are you most excited for as you take on this leadership role for the organization?
I’m excited to learn more about the hunger relief sector and become familiar with other non-profits doing great work across the state. FFEN’s work is important and I’m excited for the opportunity to play a small role in increasing access to food in Minnesota.
To learn more about FFEN’s mission and how you can help click here.