Interface (IF): Can you share a little bit about how you fostered the importance of giving back within your family?
Dina Furash: Jim and I wanted to make sure our children understood that not everyone is given the same chance in this world. Not everyone is born into a loving, stable, and safe home. And, even those who are may later find themselves in circumstances where they need rescuing. We feel it is important that we take care of each other and support others.
IF: What inspired you to step up and take on a community leadership role with Interface?
Dina: I wanted to partner with an organization that was not afraid to address complex social issues. It is difficult to talk about things like domestic violence and child abuse. Through my work at Interface, I have learned that family violence is a cycle that, once ended, changes the future of that family for generations. As a result of their best practices approach to services, I also found them to be an efficient and effective steward of my time and financial support.
Rachel: I got involved to make a difference in the lives of fellow teens. The people and programs at Interface are incredible, and I wanted to share their message with my friends and community.
Caden: I wanted to get into Interface because of the positive impact it has had not only on the community but also on my family. I was able to get a group of friends together, and we work on projects and raising funds for Interface programs.
IF: Is there a memory or experience that has stuck with you on your philanthropic journey?
Dina: Several years ago, as Interface was contemplating opening the County’s only runaway and homeless youth shelter, I learned that boys over the age of 10 were not allowed in homeless shelters with their family. Our youngest son, Caden, happened to be 10 at that time, and I just couldn’t imagine the plight. I also learned each night, ~200 homeless teens will not have a safe place to sleep and that most of these homeless youth are never reported missing or sought after by anyone. Hearing this, our daughter, Rachel, became engaged and created her own Youth Board to support Interface’s work in opening the first teen shelter. Caden, most recently, created a Youth Action Team supporting these programs too. While I have had many impactful memories in my volunteer work with Interface, the fact that this specific service to teens became a shared family passion is particularly special.
IF: What are some other activities you enjoy doing as a family?
Dina: Because Andrew and Rachel now live in NYC, we enjoy anything that brings us all together. During the pandemic, that obviously involves a lot of time at home. We all love traveling together, and our favorite family trip so far was to Peru.
IF: What is something you are looking forward to this holiday season?
Dina: The kids are planning to come home from NYC so we are hoping to do some skiing, decorating the house for the holidays, and spending more quality time together. We look forward to our oldest, Andrew, playing the piano, Rachel teaching us some new “cool” lingo, and Caden’s bright smile as he loves the time with his brother and sister.