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Like Mother/Father, Like Daughter: Interview with Philabundance Parents

Posted by Philabundance on July 20th, 2016

When Volunteer Coordinator Kali Hamilton’s parents flew in from California to visit their daughter in Philadelphia, they didn’t realize their site-seeing tour would include a stop volunteering at the Philabundance Hunger Relief Center. Here’s what they had to say about their experience:

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Volunteer Coordinator Kali (center) with her parents

How did you feel after volunteering?
To correct the record, Kali volunteered us. Her assertive personality seems to extend to her parents, but we were grateful for the opportunity to participate and truly enjoyed the experience.

What was it like seeing your daughter in action as Volunteer Coordinator?
We were even more impressed than we expected to be. It was gratifying to see her in a position that utilizes her strengths, and she so obviously enjoys.

What surprised you about your experience?
We were impressed with the scale of the Philabundance operation. We have heard many stories from Kali over the past year, but seeing the operation in action added a new depth to our appreciation of her work.

What do you think about hunger?
There are extreme tragedies at all levels (international, national and local). Philabundance is an example of an institution that does great work at the local level. Hopefully, the appropriate institutions will evolve at each level. In particular, in America, the focus on school-age children is especially crucial.

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Kali’s parents helping pack senior boxes in the warehouse

Who does Kali get her creativity from?
The capacity to generate a seemingly infinite number of ideas is a trait she shares with her father. Choosing a useful idea and focusing on it is a skill she learned from her mother. And of course Kali has taken what she received from her parents and made it her own.

One of the things we love about Kali is her positive energy and general respect/appreciation for others. Did you raise her that way? Where does it come from?
We tried. Part of Kali’s experience was helping in her mother’s special education classroom. Kali was gifted at working with all students, whatever their age or level of ability. Kali’s positive energy and zest for life is who Kali is and who she was from Day One. We, as parents, are very lucky.

Do you volunteer back home in Cali?
I (Estelle) worked in special education for over 30 years. The primary value in education is to prepare others to live their best lives possible. I recently retired and expect to volunteer some time in the future.

Is the West Coast really the best coast?
If you enjoy surfing and hiking “real” mountains then, yes, the west is the best. But seriously, each coast is very different and we greatly enjoy them both.

Read more inspiring volunteer stories.

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