Laura Malinchock and her son were rummaging through the garage one day, when he picked up a discarded backpack. “My friend at school doesn’t have one,” he said. “We should give it to him.”
It was a wake-up call for Laura, who had moved with her family from Yardley, a suburban town in Pennsylvania, where families, as far they knew, had everything they needed. Proud of her son for realizing that there were children who weren’t equipped even basically for school, she began to view her new community differently.
“In Yardley,” she tells me, “I’d volunteered in my children’s school, but we were kind of in a bubble. Across the river was Trenton, New Jersey, and we never really considered the far greater needs of families there.”
Laura grew up in a military family, so she was used to being moved around quite a bit. But her grandfather was from Wilmington, North Carolina, where she still has relatives, and part of her heritage is the tradition of crossing community lines.[Read more…]