by Linda Goodspeed

I don’t have many items on my bucket list to check off. There are places I want to travel and retiring someday is on there, too.

But the one thing that really stands out would be to serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization and make a real difference in someone’s life.

As long as I can remember, I have wanted to change the world. Not the whole world if that’s how it worked out. Just my little corner would be good.

I didn’t become a social worker, or a teacher or a doctor. I have a regular job with a regular paycheck. And while I love my job, it doesn’t make the world a better place.

That’s why I’m so happy and so fulfilled to be working with a group like Family Promise, whose mission rings true to me: Ending homelessness, one family at a time.

Who wouldn’t love that, right?

I started volunteering with Family Promise when the North Shore chapter opened up, and then three years ago I got a call from board member Dunc Ballantyne who asked if I would sit down and talk with him. Would I? Sure!

Dunc is a larger-than-life character to me. President Emeritus of the board and retired from the real world, Dunc is completely dedicated to Family Promise. He breathes Family Promise and his commitment is infectious!

When we met, Dunc and I talked about the turnout for the Walk for Homelessness and the amount of funds raised and we shared ideas about the future of Family Promise.

After a while, he asked if I would like to be considered for a position with the board.

Heck, yes!

Luckily, I conveyed my excitement, enthusiasm and sales expertise to the board, and was invited to join. That was three years ago, and each month I look forward to our meetings.

Together, each member of the Board of Directors makes a real difference facing the challenge of family homelessness on the North Shore. We come from different backgrounds and bring experience in different fields, from neuroscience to public service workers we work together to make a difference in our corner of the world.

That is no easy feat!

If you would like to talk with me about Family Promise, to share your ideas or to learn more, write me at