Taryn Jones, JFS’ new Volunteer Engagement Manager, has fond memories of giving back to her community with her college service fraternity, cooking meals for the Ronald McDonald House and, as a young adult, serving meals weekly at her grandmother’s hospice residence. But it’s her family’s volleyball tournament-turned-fundraiser, “Pearfest” a nod to her Uncle’s nickname, “Pear,” that brings a genuine smile to her face. “We would pick a charity every year and give all the money that we earned.”
After the death of her uncle, Taryn and her family gathered their community year after year to help support her aunt and various organizations. “Every year at Christmas he would adopt a family,” Taryn said. She’s continued the tradition and buys gifts for those in need every holiday season. “That was a big part of my learning to love to give back.”
Taryn’s passion for giving back didn’t stop there. She worked with a friend’s political campaign in 2020 as the Volunteer Coordinator by organizing volunteers, coordinating door knocking and even made time to gather participants safely for “tacos on the driveway,” an opportunity for volunteers to socialize during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Though Taryn is a new member of the JFS team, she’s already had the opportunity to connect with staff and learn about many of JFS’ dedicated volunteers. She particularly enjoyed a conversation with one JET Express driver who shared his experience driving a husband to visit his wife weekly who was living in a residential memory care facility. “JFS has so many different volunteer experiences and it gives people a chance to really do something that’s meaningful to them.” She feels it’s impactful that the volunteers are able to make meaningful connections with the clients. “We have so many ways that people can help out!”
Interested in learning more about JFS Volunteer opportunities? Visit www.jfskc.org/volunteer for more information.