Archive for May, 2010

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Achievement

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

This blog is about how ordinary people end up doing extraordinary things and uplift humanity to a whole new level. It focuses on citizens of the world getting outside of themselves and doing the extraordinary things that touch the lives of not just one or two people, but hundreds and thousands of individuals.

I am deeply moved when talking with these these people to see what makes them tick and how they do what they do.

Let Me Introduce You to Pam Koner and Her Junoon.

Pam Koner, who lives in Hastings on Hudson, New York, a beautiful bedroom community, was reading a newspaper story in 2002, about people in Pembroke, Illinois, who were without food during the last week of every month.

As she was reading, it was as if the universe spoke to her. She had to do something for these people. The inspiration was clear and undeniable. She had to change their situation. Pam is a regular person dealing with life’s day-to-day challenges, such as paying bills, a mortgage, car payments, and the like. She’s just an individual who received this incredible clarity that families of Pembroke will not be hungry again.

She started by calling the pastor of the church mentioned in the newspaper article to find out what she could to to help. He told her that the last week of each month was the worst, because food stamps ran out, and pantry kitchens experienced food shortages.

Through her child-care business, Pam had access to a number of families in Hastings on Hudson. She persuaded 17 families she knew there to hook up with 17 indigent families in Pembroke and to send them food every month.. In just seven years, the original volunteer contingent of 17 families has grown to 16 chapters throughout the United States serving 17 communities and 400 families.

Pam persuaded companies like Fedex to handle food shipments free of charge, and involved employees of Walmart, who got their local communities involved in what Pam has called the Family to Family effort.

“My Junoon is, above all, to create and demonstrate the possibilities of life, not the limitations,” says Pam. “I work to inspire living empathy in every generation, but especially among children, so that empathy becomes a part of the culture of their families, their lives, and their futures. I achieve this as I enable those who have more to share the bounty of their lives with those who have profoundly less.”

Pam continues to deal with all the challenges a regular life throws her way. Yet some how, she remains committed to feeding 400 families every month and in the process to changing their lives. Just as she’s done for the past six years, Pam works 13 to 15 hours a day, 5 days a week, to make sure food gets to them.

She and a few others are the only ones in her orgainzation, Family to Family, to get everything done. Every day brings new challenges for an organization this lean. The truth is that Pam’s devotion to the indigent hungry has put a physical strain on her body and mind. Yet her sprit, strong as ever, keeps her and her great team of volunteers going. She simply does not stop. If there are families that need food, they can rest assured that they won’t go hungry on Pam’s watch.

Recently, Pam Koner was voted as a CNN Hero. Her website is http://www.family-to-family.org/. Please feel free to visit and support her incredible cause. She does not have access to government resources or support from large non-profit organizations. Nonetheless, she remains hard at work changing humanity on a grand scale.

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Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath

Best selling Author, "Selling to Big Companies"

"Driven introduces a fascinating, new concept of motivation. My own Junoon hit when I was overcome with the need to develop a resource to help small companies win big contracts. The result? SellingtoBigCompanies.com and thousands of successful entrepreneurs."