2024 JFCS Exemplary Service Award: Marcia Williams and Kate Williams

Marcia Williams and Kate Williams

JFCS will host its 114th Annual Meeting from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at JFCS (5905 Golden Valley Rd, Golden Valley). At the event, we will present longtime, dedicated volunteers Marcia Williams and Kate Williams (mother and daughter) with the 2024 JFCS Exemplary Service Award. To RSVP for the Annual Meeting, click here!

Marcia and Kate, who volunteer for JFCS’ Hag Sameach program, recently spoke about their experiences:

How/why did you originally start volunteering with JFCS? 

Marcia: I work as a Care Coordinator and one of my peers told me about JFCS and how amazing they are in helping those in need. I see first-hand in the community the large number of Minnesotans that are in need.

Kate: It’s hard to remember! I like to collect kids toys throughout the year to donate to Toys for Tots at holiday time. I think I had over done it one year… and was looking for other organizations to support in the area. When my mom’s co-worker sent her a digital flier about the JFCS holiday program, it was perfect timing. Hag Sameach Program Manager Mindy Teele made it so easy and enjoyable to be part of the team. I felt right away we were making a difference. And the rest is history. 

What draws you to volunteering for the Hag Sameach program? 

Marcia: I love that it is personalized – that there are basic needs provided, along with fun and personal items that make Hag Sameach personal.

Kate: I love being able to create a little holiday magic for families in need. “Shopping” in the warehouse based on people’s requests is a wonderful window into what a (non-denominational) Santa must feel like. It’s pure joy. Plus… gifts are my love language. It’s the perfect role for me. 

How has volunteering for JFCS made an impact on you? 

Kate Williams (left) with her mother, Marcia Williams, volunteering for JFCS’ Hag Sameach program.

Marcia: I love that I can do something with my daughter that is meaningful. 

Kate: It’s humbling and an important reminder of life’s true gifts. I’ve always loved that JFCS accepts and helps all. I wish more did the same. 

Do you have a favorite memory/story of your time volunteering? 

Marcia: While shopping in the warehouse, it is so fun to find the perfect item that a child is wishing for!

Kate: One year, mom and I volunteered to drop off present bundles in the area. One family, when they opened the door, let out cries of delight when they saw the bags and asked, “Is this all for us?” The visit left me floating on air. What a fantastic feeling. 

How do you feel about being the recipient of JFCS’ award? 

Marcia: My joy is always found in the giving. I am blessed to be able to pay it forward. I am honored to be part of a wonderful organization. 

Kate: Honestly, it gives me imposter syndrome a bit. Though I usually enjoy the spotlight, being in one for good deeds is conflicting. I’ll just say that it’s my honor to have been able to make a small impact. 

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