YFCSFP member Kirk Sundstrom may have only joined our group in November, but that didn’t limit his ability to give back to Philadelphia children. Since the fall, Kirk he has volunteered at every opportunity YFCSF has presented. Kirk has spoken to children in our program about what it’s like to work in sales and the sports industry, called families who were just chosen from CSFP’s random scholarship lottery to share the good news with them, distributed award letters at CSFP’s Student Award Ceremony, and even convinced one of his good friends to celebrate his birthday at a CSFP event. Wow!
We are sorry to say that Kirk will be leaving Philadelphia in a few weeks to move back to his native Indianapolis, but we’re so happy that he chose to get involved in his local community through CSFP. We caught up with Kirk last week to ask him a few questions before he hits the road to move back out West.
CSFP: What do you love about Philadelphia?
Kirk: I moved out here thinking Philly was this huge, impersonal, East Coast city. But it’s actually pretty small. It’s personable, the people are great. There is so much history. There’s a lot to love and learn about Philly.
CSFP: What do you think Philadelphia needs right now?
Kirk: I think we need to work on safety. I’ve only been here a few years, and my car has been broken into three times. Obviously the safety issue goes back to education. We need to do a better job teaching kids, and we need to be proactive instead of reactive.
CSFP: How did you get involved in YFCSFP?
Kirk: My friend and YFCSFP Board Member Kara LaFleur suggested I come out to your event at the Saxby’s headquarters last year. I liked the mission: I was a little league coach the year before and loved helping out children. And I liked YFCSFP from that first event.
CSFP: What has your experience with CSFP and YFCSFP been like so far?
Kirk: Awesome, very rewarding. The one event that really stands out is Lottery Day, where you call families to tell them they’ve won a scholarship. I’m in sales. I’ve done cold calling my whole life, and I still have to force myself to do it. But I was excited to make these calls. Just talking with some of the families and seeing how grateful they were. You could hear them yell and jump up and down…a few parents put their kids on the phone to say thank you to me. It was one of those good goosebumps moments.
Then, you see it all come together at the Student Award Ceremony, when CSFP gives out the award letters. And onstage during the program, parents and alumni speak about where they came from and what they’re doing now, and students share their plans to become doctors and go to college. To see all that, which was initiated by CSFP, that is such a good feeling.
CSFP: Thanks, Kirk. Anything else for us?
Kirk: It’s been an awesome experience. I’ll be back, maybe for the October event!