Q & A on Volunteering, with Ann Kay
When it comes to volunteering, Ann Kay is a shining star. She and her family have a well-known reputation for selflessly giving all they can to help better the lives of others. JF&CS is thankful to have such a jewel as an active volunteer. Ann recently sat down with our marketing team to chat about her volunteer work and what it means to her.
Q: Did you grow up volunteering?
A: I did. My parents set a wonderful example for me. They were always volunteering. They were active with B’nai Brith and ORT among other organizations. My mother was a substitute teacher, but she also volunteered at several schools. My father was an attorney and was politically active to better our community. I also was a girl scout, so I did a lot of volunteer work through that organization.
Q: What has been your favorite volunteer experience thus far and why?
A: I really enjoy the hands-on projects I do for JF&CS. Before The Tasting came about, I worked on walks that would benefit the Zimmerman-Horowitz Independent Living Program. I chaired Empty Bowl and the Community of Caring luncheon, which was very rewarding. I find committee work to be an important part of my contribution to JF&CS. The committees help to make JF&CS the great agency it is. Aside from JF&CS, I volunteer a lot at The William Breman Jewish Home, because I love working with the residents.
Q: Do you volunteer with your kids and grandkids? If so, what kind of projects do you do together?
A: Yes. My grandchildren, who are 5 and 7 years old, recently did Passover food sorting. We also made sandwiches that went to the (Atlanta Community) Food Bank. My adult children have always volunteered. In fact, when my daughter was younger, she had the most volunteer hours at (Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at) Scottish Rite. My son has volunteered at a shelter, with the Hands On Network and has worked at rehab centers. They both do their share. I would really like for my children and grandchildren to continue to make the world a better place.
Q: What is your passion, and what do you want to accomplish through your volunteering?
A: I am very fortunate, and I want to help improve the lives of others. That’s what I love about JF&CS. It provides its clients the tools to better their lives.
Q: You have a very personal connection to JF&CS. Does that affect your volunteering?
A: Yes. It’s amazing how this agency is run, and it benefits so many people in the community. I’m always amazed by the variety of people JF&CS touches and in so many ways. This is the organization I feel most connected to.
Q: In your own words, why did you and your family choose to embrace Tools for Leaders?
A: I took the Tools for Leaders class in 2008. Even though I thought I knew everything about JF&CS, it was amazing how much I learned about the different services the agency provides and the people they touch. I also felt that the leadership part of the program was very positive. (My husband) Michael has always been involved in leadership, so the combination of helping people and teaching people to be in leadership positions was a perfect match. It’s so important that people who are going to be involved with JF&CS take the class, because it really is an eye opening experience.
Q: You are well-known for doing group volunteer projects on your big birthdays. Tell us about that.
A: (With a big smile) Well, I have one coming up so I need to pick what project that will be! Ten years ago we went to a public school in East Atlanta, and we built a reading loft. We even made the pillows and murals that went into it. Five years ago we did hospital art, so we painted three murals that went to different hospitals in the area. Usually 25 to 30 friends join me for this project.