For nearly a decade, Cheryl Samet has volunteered for Jewish Family Services. She credits her passion for volunteerism to her family.
“Both of my grandmothers were immigrants. Once they came over (to the United States), they did everything from to Hadassah and the (American) Red Cross.” Cheryl said. “My mother and I did March of Dimes each year, and I also went trick-or-treating for UNICEF.”
Cheryl first started volunteering at JFS in 2012 when she worked at the Guadalupe Centers. Over time, she helped make deliveries for pantry clients and took clients to appointments as a JET Express driver. Throughout her volunteering, Cheryl learned some of the clients’ personal histories, including one woman who had ties to food history.
“She (the client) was the first model for the Peter Pan peanut butter brand. She showed me her costume and I thought it was very cool,” Cheryl said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Cheryl stepped up to help out as she made hygiene bags for the Brookside pantry in addition to her deliveries.
“At times, I am the only face that some of our clients see, especially during COVID-19,” Cheryl said.
Every time Cheryl makes her rounds, clients always thanked and blessed her.
“The clients are so appreciative that JFS has opened their arms, hearts, and souls to be there for people and to make a difference in their lives,” said Cheryl.
In addition to her work as a delivery driver, Cheryl also helps JFS on various projects that included making appointment reminder calls for pantry clients and Holiday projects.
“Cheryl has been an incredible volunteer and is always willing to go above and beyond what is asked of her,” said Vicki Johansen, JFS’s Volunteer Engagement Coordinator. “She has a great attitude and always steps up to volunteer in any way needed.”
Outside of her volunteer work with JFS, Cheryl recently volunteered at the Brookside Art Annual at events for both Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw and Harvesters.
“It is in my heart and soul to help support and give back to the community,” said Cheryl.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please contact the volunteer engagement team at (913) 730-1410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.