In recognition of National Volunteer Week, we recently sat down with Bonnie Eisenfeld, a longtime friend and volunteer of JEVS Human Services, to discuss the impact of volunteering and why you should consider donating your time to help others.
Q: You could choose to spend your time with many organizations. Why do you volunteer at JEVS Human Services?
A: I have known JEVS President and CEO Jay Spector for a long time. He is dedicated to the mission of this organization, and he hires talented staffers who are organized, welcoming, and results-oriented. It is a pleasure to say yes to these volunteer opportunities.
In the past, I have been involved with JEVS as a hiring client, marketing consultant, and board member. I know that when they take on a project, they do it right and they get results.
Currently, I am involved with mock hiring interviews to help young adults get jobs after achieving their high school equivalency diplomas and training certificates through JEVS Project WOW. I love working with these smart, motivated, personable young people to help them get hired and permanently change their lives for the better. It’s rewarding for me to use my corporate experience in this way.
Q: What kinds of volunteer activities have you participated in? Do you have a favorite and, if so, why?
A: In addition to participating in the mock interviews, I have helped pack backpacks with school supplies for children and I have assisted with the JEVS Youth Prom by pinning on corsages and boutonnieres. It was lovely to see these young people enjoy an experience they missed by dropping out of high school.
Outside of JEVS, my volunteer activities include tutoring and coaching disadvantaged college bound high school students with Philadelphia Futures, writing and photographing for the Center City Quarterly (the publication of the Center City Residents’ Association), and occasionally writing student profiles for the Center for Literacy.
In the past, I have been a board member of Philabundance, JEVS Human Services, and the League of Women Voters of Philadelphia. Now I get a bigger charge from providing direct service than from attending meetings. I could never pick a favorite because I enjoy all these volunteer activities and the unique opportunities they give me to make a difference.
Q: What would you say to others thinking about volunteering at JEVS?
A: JEVS is committed to the Jewish principle of Tikkun Olam, a Hebrew phrase for ‘repairing the world.’ I believe that education and training are the solutions to almost all social and economic problems. If you volunteer with JEVS, you will be contributing to helping disadvantaged people turn their lives around. You will join a team of caring people who are working together to strengthen the community by giving individuals from all walks of life the tools they need to succeed.