Hello, my name is Terri, and I am the Director of Finance and Administration for Friends of Karen.  This June will mark ten years that I have worked for this amazing organization.
The mission of the organization to help families cope with the unimaginable circumstances of having a child with a life-threatening illness is very compelling.  It is what drives everyone on Friends of Karen’s staff to give one hundred percent every day.  While the social work team performs the “front line” work of supporting our families, the development team communicates news of the important mission to the wonderful donors that make supporting our families possible.  Finance and Administration supports families by managing expenses to ensure they receive every dollar possible.  We also manage internal processes to provide accurate and transparent reporting to our generous donors.
 
Ten years ago, I was excited for the opportunity to support Friends of Karen’s efforts with children and families with a financial role critical to the mission’s success.  My goal was to find ways to balance great financial need with the processes and checks and balances required for financial accountability and transparency.  Achieving this would be the best way to support the organization’s needs, aspirations and impact.
 
Personally, my commitment to children has led me to write children’s books on the value of kindness.  My books speak to showing empathy and kindness to each other, the world around us and to the environment.  I have found tremendous fulfillment in reading my books to groups of children.  Reading is a great tool to advance the learning process for children.  But reading also offers a chance to escape to another world where children can find comfort in other surroundings and recognize similarities to themselves in other characters. 
 
My work at Friends of Karen has deepened my understanding of the struggles of families who deal with the crisis of a sick child and all the emotional and financial struggles that result.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work for an organization providing critical support to families and witnessing the impact of our efforts.