Volunteer Spotlight –February 2021: Sara Reininger

Sara Reininger, pictured with her son, who volunteers with her at JFCS

What’s your current volunteer role at JFCS? In what ways have you volunteered with JFCS in the past?

For the last two years, I have been one of the Delivery Co-Chairs for the Hag Sameach program. It’s been great getting to help implement such a fantastic program and bring some new ideas to the group. Prior to that, I was a delivery volunteer for the program.

How long have you been volunteering with JFCS?

I started volunteering with JFCS six years ago when my husband, son (then only 7 months old), grandmother, and I delivered gift baskets for the Passover Hag Sameach program.

What motivated you to volunteer with JFCS?

Prior to my son being born, I organized large scale volunteer events for the company I work for. Once my son was born, I wanted to pivot from organizing events to finding volunteer events that I could bring him to. My child is being raised Jewish in a multi-faith household, and volunteering with JFCS was one way I could connect us both to the Jewish community, while teaching him the importance of giving back to our community.

He may not have been able to walk when we started, but when we knocked on people’s doors to deliver their packages, they were sometimes more excited to see a young child then the package itself! I have loved seeing the joy he has brought to others.

Sara’s son delivering gifts for Hag Sameach in 2020

Tell us about your volunteer experience with JFCS.

I started out as a driver delivering Passover boxes and holiday gifts for Hag Sameach. After doing that for a few years, I wanted to get more involved in the planning process of the events. I offered to step in wherever was needed and became one of the Hag Sameach Co-Chairs. It’s been nice being part of a group that works so hard to bring this event to life.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with JFCS?

That’s such a tough question! I love so many things about it – seeing the ways JFCS helps our community; seeing the joy that these volunteer programs bring to the recipients; volunteering with people who are passionate about what they do; and of course the feeling I get knowing what I am doing makes a difference. This year, the best part was the excitement my son had about the volunteer event. He couldn’t wait!

Anything else to share?

There are so many ways to get involved! Whether you have a lot of time to give, or just a few minutes, and whether you want to volunteer by yourself or with family and friends, there are opportunities out there. Just find the one that works for you!

For more information about becoming a JFCS volunteer, contact Dana Shapiro, Community and Volunteer Engagement Coordinator & Intake Counselor, at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org or 952-417-2112 or click here.