Kim Bari Gronich was sitting at the conference table in the new offices of Step Up for Better Living. Looking around, she saw the faces of new staff and Board members, and felt a surge of immense pride. She felt herself reflecting on how far the Step Up team had come, and how excited she was about what the future held. It was shortly before Covid-19 brought unprecedented crisis to the South Bronx, and although she didn’t know it then, it was the last time Kim would attend an in-person meeting at our office before the pandemic struck.
Kim joined our Board in 2012. She led the organization through transformation and expansion. In fact, it was Kim who gave our organization (then known as Senior Living Options) its new name: Step Up for Better Living. These days, Kim serves as our Vice President — and we couldn’t do what we do without her. A lawyer by day, Kim has always felt drawn to nonprofit work as a way to give back to underserved communities. Before working with us, she tutored young residents at a homeless shelter. But when that program ended, she searched for an opportunity to “step up” even more.
As a lifelong resident of New York City, Kim has always had a special place in her heart for the Bronx. Even today, there is so much she loves about this community. The diversity of the people, the incredible architecture, and — last but not least — Yankee Stadium. “Both the old and the new,” she is quick to add.
Being a part of the change in the South Bronx is personal for Kim. So she feels especially drawn to the direct impact Step Up has on the lives of our clients. “Most organizations do not have such a strong and close connection to the community they serve,” Kim said recently. “At SUBL, there is no more than one degree of separation between a donation and the person it helps. That really resonates with me.”
Thanks, Kim. We can’t wait to see you in-person across the conference table once more.