At Family Scholar House, our volunteers make our mission statement a reality for so many families, and we absolutely could not accomplish that without them. Lisa Dahlem and her daughter, Kate, are two of our outstanding volunteers that have served our FSH community for years.  We recently interviewed Lisa to learn more about why she chose to serve our organization so many years ago, and what it is that keeps her coming back to this day. 

When asked when and how she decided to get involved at Family Scholar House, Lisa stated that she first heard of Cathe Dykstra and FSH back in 2005, when the organization only had a handful of families for whom they rented apartments in a complex downtown. She began a group called Friends for Family, in which she encouraged her friends to also volunteer and organize donation drives for FSH. Around this time, Lisa was also just beginning to form her own business that focused on helping women with startup businesses from their homes. Her call to Family Scholar House was because of their shared missions, which Lisa describes as “empowering women to do things on their own.” 

This message is exactly why Lisa encouraged her daughter, Kate, to become heavily involved in the organization, even from a young age. Lisa’s heart has always been with Family Scholar House because of the women there and how impressive their stories and accomplishments are. She wanted her daughter to feel that same inspiration, to understand that if she fully believed in FSH, she could make a difference there, too. Since middle school, Kate has hosted a book drive, made birthday bags, served food at Café Nights, helped her mom with food pantry donations and deliveries, and so much more. 

When asked about her favorite part of FSH and what keeps bringing her back to serve the families here, Lisa said that she’s in awe of Cathe Dykstra and what she has done for the organization as a whole: 

“When you put a lot of yourself and your passion in something to help other people, there’s nothing better than it.” 

She also stated that it’s really amazing for young women to see the kind of empowerment in a community that is present at FSH. She hopes that her daughter sees the perseverance of the women there, the obstacles that they have overcome and the successes they have had, and understands that if they can do it, Kate can do it, too.

We are so thankful to be able to have Lisa and Kate as part of our family here at FSH. Without them, and the dozens of other outstanding volunteers like them, what we do for our families would not be possible. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making a difference.