Amy Forkin, Family Navigator
Amy joined the BHH team full-time in 2011 as the Family Navigator. While that position may sound simple, it’s actually anything but–Amy is basically a professional juggler, not only helping all of the BHH Families but also navigating the tricky negotiations with all of the utility companies and vendors that we work with.
What do you love most about working at Bringing Hope Home?
What I love most is working directly with all of the families that we come in contact with each day. Most of my day is spent on the phone with people that are having a very difficult time. Many are struggling emotionally because of the challenges they’re facing, the biggest challenge being a financial one. I make it a priority to not only give families a listening ear, but to also let them know that they are not alone and we’re here to help them. I feel so blessed because I get to tell people good news all day long! It’s the most humbling thing in the world. I try my best to lift the spirits of our families and end each call better than how it began. Letting people know that you’re going to help them pay their bills is usually a good way to do that.
Is it hard to manage all of the families on your own?
I think the small size of our organization is such a strength because it allows us to really get to know our families on a personal level. We know our families by name and meet them at events throughout the year. I don’t know if many other organizations can say that. If someone calls our office, they know that they will get Paul, Lauren or myself on the other end. We have the best team in the world and I feel so fortunate to be able to bring hope home to our families each day. It makes the work that we do so personal and intimate.
What were your favorite BHH moments of 2012?
My favorite moment of 2012 was our Adopt-A-Family Program. Last year was the first year we launched this program. I personally wanted to grow the AAF Program so that we could help even more families struggling over the holidays. Having cancer is difficult enough, but it’s even more difficult for families over the holidays. This year, we raised over $82,000 and were able to directly pay household bills for 55 families. We were also able to provide an additional 57 families with holiday gifts and gift cards and deliver them to their homes. This was such an accomplishment for our whole team and was really a special moment for me personally.
You feel very connected to the BHH mission. Tell us why.
My mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer when I was in 6th grade. So many people helped my family while my mom was sick. Even at the age of 11, I can still remember our neighbors and families from our parish bringing meals over for our family after my mom’s surgery and helping us in any way they could. My brothers, sister and I still remember our favorite meals and even remember who made them. At such a young age, I don’t think I fully understood what was going on when my mom was sick, but I do remember the people that were there to help us. That’s why the Adopt-A-Family Program is so special to me personally and is one that I hope will continue to grow each year.
What do you love to do in your non-BHH time?
I love to spend time with my family and friends. My family is made up of my mom, Noreen (who is a 14 year cancer survivor!!), my dad and lifetime softball coach, Jim, my big brother Jim, my younger (but taller) brother Matthew, and my little sister, Noreen. I love to watch baseball and am a HUGE Phillies fan. I’m currently training to run my second 10-mile race at this year’s Broad Street Run. I also spend a lot of my time in the summer in the happiest place in the world: Sea Isle City, NJ.