Volunteer Spotlight – January 2021: Ron Barry

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

I just recently completed a two-year stint as Steering Committee Co-Chair of the JFCS “Laugh on Their Behalf” Annual Benefit. Those two years opened my eyes even more to the importance of JFCS and all the wonderful things that this organization provides in our community. Just being a small part of that has been a very fulfilling experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

How long have you been volunteering with JFCS?

I have been a part of the Annual Benefit for many years now, serving on various committees during that time. Our family has also been an active supporter of JFCS throughout the years.

What motivated you to volunteer with JFCS?

Philanthropy has been a very important part of my family for as long as I can remember. This was something that was instilled in me very early on. It is an important part of me to be able to give back to my community and be able to reach out to those who are in need of help. JFCS has touched me in numerous ways over the years and it gives me great joy to contribute and help in any way to those in need.

Tell us about your volunteer experience with JFCS.

Ron co-chaired the Annual Benefit with his wife, Shari Barry, in 2019.

Getting the opportunity to co-chair the Benefit with my wife, Shari Barry, was a great and unique opportunity. We were the very first husband-and-wife tandem in JFCS’ Annual Benefit history. We were very honored and proud of that experience.

Serving this year brought many new challenges to everyone, as you can imagine. Being paired up with Sheri Fine as my co-chair was a serendipitous venture. Joining a great team of people this year – including JFCS staff Peggy Mandel, Lori Leavitt, and Dana Rubin – to come up with a unique and reimagined Annual Benefit is something that I will be very, very proud of when looking back at all the things that I have done in this community. 

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with JFCS?

In 2020, Ron co-chaired the Annual Benefit with Sheri Fine. They starred in several skits for the event, which was JFCS’ first virtual Annual Benefit.

Seeing the smiles on the faces of children and adults that have received the benefits of our labor. Making a difference is why we are all here. I have made new friends, reconnected with old friends, and gained a better knowledge of what it means to be Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis.

Anything else to share?

I just wanted to say thank you to Judy Halper and her team for bestowing the chance to be part of something very important and influential. I will always be here ready and able to help JFCS in any way necessary.

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.