Volunteer Spotlight June 2023: Marlene and Jack Spencer

Marlene and Jack Spencer

Can you tell us about yourselves and your background?

We are retired now, but we were happy to help out with JFCS even when we had jobs. It never conflicted with our personal work.

What JFCS programs do you volunteer with and how long have you been volunteering with JFCS?

We have been active volunteers with Caring Connections events for the last couple of years; we enjoy helping out at the program’s annual Passover Seder and other events that take place throughout the year. We have been involved with a variety of Caring Connections events, from the outdoor Havdalah event at Woodlake Nature Center and the Neshama Carlebach concert at Adath Jeshuran to a wonderful Sukkot event with Israeli dancing at J-HAP (Jewish Housing and Programming) Cornerstone Creek Apartments, and more.

What does your current volunteer role consist of?

For the recent Caring Connections Musical Sing-a-long Passover Seder at Beth El, we helped set up the room, served the meal and visited with Caring Connections members, along with their family members, staff and friends. Over 90 people joined us that night to celebrate Passover together and it was an engaging and fun event. It takes a coordinated effort of management and teamwork among staff and volunteers to accomplish that.

What motivated you to begin volunteering with JFCS? 

We were recruited a few years ago, and gladly accepted. We didn’t know about Caring Connections, which is a great program. We have been looking forward to every event since then. It’s great to be part of a team of like-minded volunteers and wonderful to participate in the events.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with JFCS and how has it impacted your life? 

Our favorite part is being members of a great team of volunteers that make an impact on other people’s lives.

Do you have a memorable story about your JFCS volunteer experience to share?

The most fun we had was at a Caring Connections art project event. Everyone had such a great time. There was a lot of laughing and great enjoyment by everyone.

What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering with JFCS? 

When you volunteer with JFCS, you get back more than what you give!

Anything else you wish to share?

We are always anticipating the next event to help with and can’t wait to see the people we’ve met along the way.

Caring Connections is a JFCS program that provides opportunities for Twin Cities-based Jewish adults with developmental disabilities to take part in social and educational events and learn about Jewish holidays and traditions. Contact Stacey Spencer, Disability Services Manager, at sspencer@jfcsmpls.org to learn more. 

For more information about volunteering with JFCS, click here or contact Dana Shapiro, Community & Volunteer Engagement Manager at dshapiro@jfcsmpls.org.