Jana & Tom: A Family within a Family

Jana started volunteering as a driver with FFA during the Covid days. She wanted to make a small contribution to people’s lives during that challenging period. As a retired grief counselor, she had the time and empathy, and she enjoyed being able to provide groceries to such nice recipients. She was also happy to be able to link up two of her previous clients with FFA.

Tom joined Jana soon thereafter to carry the heavy bags to people’s doors. They quickly figured out that the most efficient way for them to work together was for Tom to drive and Jana to navigate and text and/or call the clients. They love driving around the city together, accompanied by their rescue dog, Gaven. Even though they have lived in DC for 40 years, there is always another nook or cranny to explore.

Jana and Tom enjoy the connection with FFA’s recipients. They especially appreciate both their warmth and emotional honesty. Sometimes people open up about their lives and struggles. Jana is in awe of their resilience. Even when facing physical disability and/or other challenges, people find a way to express positivity. Stops at recipients’ homes brighten up Tom and Jana’s Saturday.

The welcoming spirit of the Saturday crew at FFA feels like a reunion with friends, and it also gives them a lift. When Jana saw the Saturday volunteers sharing store-purchased donuts, she put her baking skills to good use. Every week she brings delicious baked goodies for all the volunteers to enjoy together.

Recently she got a karmic response for her baking generosity. After her dad died and she had shattered an elbow, the volunteers brought her a bag filled with goodies. “That was so moving,” Jana said. “I felt part of a large family.”

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