Volunteer Appreciation | Q&AApril 7th, 2017 - Brett Diaz
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, and we want to recognize some of our dedicated and
mission-driven volunteers. A volunteer is a special kind of person who places tremendous value on helping others – either their neighbors or strangers – and their community.
Goodman JFS is fortunate to have a large body of volunteers who work tirelessly alongside our staff to bring hope, dignity and joy to all in Broward County. Today we feature Mindy, a dedicated and selfless volunteer who has assisted JFS with multiple projects from Café Europa to delivering food gift cards.
Q: How did you hear about Goodman JFS?
A: I heard about JFS through a friend of mine who was delivering food to Holocaust survivors.
Q: What inspired you to become a volunteer, and how has it impacted your life?
A: I have been volunteering for most of my adult life. I watched my mother volunteer when I was growing up, and I wanted to show my children the importance of giving back to the community through volunteering with organizations where you feel a connection. Volunteering has helped me feel good about myself because I am assisting others who truly need help. Volunteering helps me feel connected to my community by doing what I can to make it a better place.
My involvement with delivering food and food gift cards to Holocaust survivors grew out of my son’s bar mitzvah project in two parts. The first part came from his participation in a program with Young Lions of Judea where teens get matched with Holocaust survivors. The second part of his project involved spearheading a program at our temple where families would donate money for food baskets on the bimah instead of purchasing flowers. Each month we would use that money to buy food to fill the food bags. These two experiences motivated me to volunteer with JFS and help Holocaust survivors in our community.
Q: Which volunteer opportunities have you been involved with at JFS?
A: I have been delivering food and gift cards to Holocaust survivors for five years. I have also helped with the Cafe Europa events.
Q: Here at JFS our tagline is “Bringing hope, dignity and joy to all.” Since you are our boots on the ground, how does it feel to deliver the hope, dignity and joy to our clients?
A: It always feels great to bring hope, dignity and joy to those clients I come in contact with. My survivors truly need the gift cards, and they always express their gratitude. Equally important is the time I spend with each of them on delivery day, and hearing them talk about their lives. Many of them do not have family who live in the area, so I know how much they look forward to my monthly visits for some friendly conversation.
Q: What would you tell someone who is interested in possibly volunteering?
A: I would encourage people to get involved and volunteer with an organization that interests them. Volunteering can be one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life. Many people find that the more you put into it, the more you can get out of it. That has certainly been true for me!