Making an Impact – Making an Impact Improves Quality of Life

Volunteering Improves Quality of Life

In the Making an Impact series, clients and services are featured to expand awareness of the wide array of help available at JFS and to ensure donors understand the lives they touch and the difference they make throughout the community. Client names have been changed to protect their confidentiality.

The JFS Volunteer Engagement Specialist received a call from the mother of Milly, a young adult with special needs, with an offer for Milly to volunteer at JFS. After meeting both, along with Milly’s job coach, the Specialist saw Milly clearly wanted to be of service and gain some experience she could add to job applications. We developed a position involving administrative work for her, the job coach, and her mother to do together.

Another volunteer, Sarah, helped us on a regular basis with administrative tasks in the receptionist space for many years. Volunteering at JFS was a big part of Sarah’s life and a huge source of pride for her and her family.

After Sarah returned from a trip with her family, we learned that she had suffered a sudden and noticeable cognitive decline. She exhibited increased confusion and anxiety about performing simple assignments in the office, which was both concerning and painful to those who had worked with her. All the JFS staff were heartbroken to have to take away this weekly activity that had brought so much fulfillment and purpose to Sarah’s life.

JFS was determined to find a way for Sarah to continue the volunteer work she loved. Staff developed a simple, yet essential project allowing Milly, her mother, her job coach and Sarah to work together. The arrangement continued for a few weeks until the project was complete. Milly went on to start a job in a senior living facility, and Sarah moved closer to her family in Minneapolis.