Posted by Jon Federman
JF&CS relies on volunteers to serve 17,000 people each year. Many of our programs like Lauren and Mark Rubin Visiting Moms®, Welcome Baby!, Friendly Visitor, and Family Table are successful in part because of volunteer involvement.
Many of our volunteers have been generously donating their skills, talents, and abilities for years, even decades. Amy Hearne is one of those devoted volunteers who started out here some 21 years ago. Now, after more than two decades, Amy is still a volunteer as well as part-time JF&CS employee.
Amy originally heard about JF&CS Family Table through CJP Young Leadership, which promoted Family Table as a great volunteer opportunity. "I remember bringing my daughter as a baby on my back - and she's 24 now," says Amy, proudly. "I got my family to go and then got other families with children to help out," she adds. "I told people about it and they got hooked."
By the time Amy's daughter was 12, she was a Family Table regular at the Sunday distributions. "Many clients were Russian and my daughter couldn't communicate with them, but it worked," she explains. All three of Amy's children, now 16, 21, and 24, have volunteered at Family Table in various capacities for many years. They started by simply helping Amy make deliveries and have gone on to volunteer on a monthly basis at the pantry. "Volunteering is important," remarks Amy, "because it acts as the touch point for service and social justice."
Through Family Table, Amy got involved with the Center for Family Assistance. In the past few years, Amy began volunteering with the JF&CS Welcome Baby! program, helping welcome Jewish and interfaith families to the Jewish community with a home visit, gift package, and resource guides to programs and events in Greater Boston.
"I am very familiar with the Jewish community and its resources. I can make a welcome introduction to the community. I love being a mom, so it really clicked with me," she remarks excitedly.
A few months ago, Laura Gerson, coordinator of the Welcome Baby! program, asked Amy if she would work for the program on a part-time basis. "She needed someone to help with tasks, do outreach and development with volunteers, review resource materials, improve how we connect with the Jewish community, and promote the Welcome Baby! program. I'm a big fan [of the program], so of course I said yes!'"
Even though Amy now works part-time at JF&CS, she still finds the time to volunteer as a visitor for Welcome Baby! When not involved with JF&CS, Amy does private tutoring and volunteers as a tutor for homeless children in Brockton. "Volunteering is a passion and I'm very good at finding volunteer positions," she says. In 2008, Amy received the Simone Lottor Exceptional Service Award for her tireless work on behalf of JF&CS. "[Volunteering] is a happy part of my life!"
Jon Federman is the JF&CS Staff Writer. A practicing attorney for more than 15 years, he is thrilled to bring his legal and persuasive writing skills to the JF&CS Marketing Communications department. Jon has a BA from Tufts University and a JD from Boston College Law School. In his spare time he is an exhibiting photographer and an award-winning cartoonist. Jon lived in London, England for five years before returning to Boston in 2011.