A Few Words of Farewell

When Krissy Marshall began her position as executive director of the brand new branch of the Family Promise program in 2010, she knew it would be hard. “There was a lot I had to learn on the job,” reflects Krissy, who was the only staff member at the time. “No other job could have taught me so much professionally; I got to do everything!” Krissy and her husband Matt are expecting their first child in September, so the summer brings a lot of transition for her personally and for Family Promise. As she prepares to pass the baton to a new executive director, Krissy offers some parting thoughts to the network of volunteers, congregation partners, business leaders, staff, community partners, and program guests who have helped to make the organization a success.

Krissy uses the image of a new plant to talk about Family Promise. “There was a lot of weeding we had to do in those first years, and that was sometimes overwhelming. We did not always see the growth. But I would say that we are flowering now.”

In her seven years with Family Promise, Krissy has watched the program become increasingly self-sustaining. Financially, the organization has started to see the benefits of long-term budget and fund development planning. In addition to more regular giving from congregations, businesses, and individuals, Family Promise has built relationships with local grant funders such as the Stabler Foundation. “Funding stability helps us focus on growth goals instead of monthly needs,” explains Krissy. Grateful to the donors who keep the doors of Family Promise open, Krissy is also excited to watch volunteers take more ownership of the program. For example, she says the volunteers are more equipped to handle different family situations on their own.

What’s been most rewarding for Krissy, however, is getting to see families in the program become more independent. “Our families are becoming successful on their own,” she says. Many of the graduates stay connected to the program, and Krissy always loves to hear from them with updates on their accomplishments. A woman named Shaneekua was the first successful Family Promise graduate. “She got her first job while in the program,” recalls Krissy. “A year later she called to say she’d been given her first raise and a promotion. She just wanted to share that good news with me.”  

The relationships Krissy has built with volunteers have also been rewarding. She commented, “I never expected to develop such close relationships and to be inspired by the hundreds of volunteers that are a part of this network. I could not have done this without all of the volunteers. They have become my family.”

So, what is next for Family Promise of Harrisburg? In addition to a new executive director, Family Promise will be hiring a director of development and programs to lead fundraising initiatives. There are also plans to create the mentoring and after-care services for program graduates. Finally, the organization is looking at other properties and will need to make a decision about where to move its operations. The new building will allow for program growth for FPHCR’s future.

“Thank you, Family Promise,” says Krissy. “Thank you for growing with me and for making it possible to change the lives of families. I never expected to stay this long or to love this so much.  I leave cherishing my time here at Family Promise, the relationships I’ve gained, the memories I have, the lessons I’ve learned, and the lives changed. It has required prayer, my unbelievable family and friends, and your encouragement to get through the impossible days and celebrate the good ones. This has been the most challenging and most rewarding thing I’ve ever been a part of. I will miss it, especially the people. My hope is that everyone stays as connected and can get rejuvenated by new leadership. I am excited to see what continues to happen in our community!”

 

 

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