The Things You Leave Behind

A friend on mine passed away on Monday, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I’d only just learned about the diagnosis last Friday, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

I knew Linda Borodkin through my work with The Welcome Project. I recently learned that she joined the board around the same time I started volunteering, but it always seemed to me that she’d been on the board forever.

She had a remarkable passion for non-profits and for non-profit leadership. But most of all, she saw each person’s capacity for leadership. She believed in the value each person brought to the work through their ideas, skills, and resources.

After my first year of chairing YUM – The Welcome Project’s annual fundraiser – Linda gave me the biggest, most beautiful bouquet of flowers I have ever seen. They lasted for weeks.

I hadn’t thought I was into that kind of thing, but – the earnestness and genuineness with which she felt compelled to say ‘thank you’ was a remarkable experience for me.

And Linda was big into thank yous. As a fellow member of The Welcome Project’s fundraising committee, Linda personally called almost every donor to thank them for their support.

She said it was wonderfully fulfilling to hear their stories – to learn why they supported The Welcome Project, and to hear them talk about what compelled them to this work.

But most of all, I think, she liked to see the students learn and grow, just as she liked to see the organization learn and grow.

And throughout it all, she was there helping, building, learning, thanking.

So here’s to you, Linda – thank you for everything.

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