Volunteer Shout Out

Judi & Alan Fanger | David Franklin | Joe Morgart | Tania Gray | Michael Lourie | Paul Crocetti

Our February 2019 Volunteer Shout Outs

 

Judi & Alan Fanger

This month’s Volunteer Shout Out goes not to an individual volunteer, but to an incredible couple. Alan, who is a former JBBBS Board Chair, is currently matched with his second “Little Brother”. He first became involved in the agency 27 years ago. Judi has been a volunteer in the Friend 2 Friend Program for close to one year.

Judi shared that she has a “wonderful 28 year old nephew with challenges who lives on the west coast” and she knows “how difficult it is for him to find an appropriate social network in his community.” She noted that she wants to be able to “bring friendship and joy into the life of someone who’s missing that from their life.” Judi and her friend, Cindy, enjoy going to the theater together, and are looking forward to seeing School of Rock with JBBBS in February. Judi shared that she loves the agency, commenting that she is particularly moved by the work that JBBBS does to “enhance and improve the lives of developmentally challenged adults.”

Alan originally chose to volunteer in the children’s program in the early 90’s as two of his close friends were “Bigs.” Each of these friends shared how meaningful it was to them to have a one-to-one mentoring relationship with a child. 27 years later, after raising his own children and while running a busy legal practice, Alan is currently matched with his second Little Brother. He and his Little Brother Ramon enjoy going to Celtics games, hiking, biking, and playing tennis.

Thank you, Judi and Alan, for the lives that you touch through your volunteer efforts!

Our January 2019 Volunteer Shout Outs


David Franklin, Chair, JBBBS Board of Directors

How did you first become involved with JBBBS? (When, How…as a Big/Friend, other)

I started attending JBBBS events over a decade ago when a colleague of mine brought me to one of the first Bowling events. While I was interested in the Agency, my passion for its mission really grew after one of my best friends passed away leaving behind two young children. His twin boys became matched with Bigs and I could see firsthand the tremendous impact it had on their lives.

What has been your most rewarding/favorite moment as a JBBBS volunteer?

As Board Chair, I am awed by the aggregate impact we are having on our community. Attending our events is a great way to see the smiles on their faces, the pure enjoyment our matches have and the deep friendships which have been made.

What does mentorship mean to you?

Mentoring is about imparting wisdom and helping others reach their potential. When done best, it is a two-way street which benefits both people in the relationship.

 

Joe Morgart, Chair, JBBBS Endowment Board of Directors

 

How did you first become involved with JBBBS?

I was fortunate to be introduced to JBBBS as a part of the CJP Acharai Leadership Program many years ago. I instantly became passionate about the mission of the agency and was asked to serve on the Board. During my time on the Board, I learned more about the Agency in many ways, and I was then asked to serve as the Agency Board Chair. Here, again, I felt fortunate that we had a great staff, terrific Bigs, and a great Board. As a team we were able to continue to serve so many Littles and adults with disabilities in a variety of ways. After my tenure as Agency Board Chair was complete I joined the Endowment Board and now currently serve as its Chair, ensuring we have a stable future for JBBBS. I can’t image a more fulfilling series of volunteer experiences, seeing the Agency continuously evolve and knowing that we changed the futures and outcomes of those who we have been blessed to serve.

What has been your most rewarding/favorite moment as a JBBBS volunteer?

Countless!! Seeing a new Little and Big being matched. Watching that Match grow and flourish. Hearing the stories about the how the Littles had a great summer camp experience because of our Campership program. Understanding and learning about the needs of our Bigs as they head to college, and then finding ways through our Scholarship program to support their educational needs. Seeing some of our Littles come back as Bigs. But it’s also in the day-to-day actions of working with the Staff as they work to make it all happen.

Finally, it’s the moments with our donors. Their positive reaction to understanding the power and impact their donations have, both in the short and long term, on our community is very meaningful. My hope is that there will be many more favorite and rewarding moments for all of those who choose to engage in the mission of JBBBS.

What does mentorship mean to you?

To me, mentorship at JBBBS is knowing there is a place in our community that has, and will continue to, for the next 100 years, be a place where we can change the direction and future of a Little. We as an Agency are fortunate to serve so many Littles and adults with disabilities who, through no fault of their own, face countless challenges. We have become a positive and trusted role model in their lives for many, many years. We have the skills and resources to help them at many important phases in their lives. Something as simple as a get together for a conversation, or to see a movie or a game, to something as supportive as getting them to summer camp or helping with a college scholarship. Mentorship is all about transferring and reinforcing the values that go into building great adults, and great people.

Staff Spotlight, Outreach Manager, Tania Gray

In one sentence, what does your job entail?

As outreach manager, my job is to recruit volunteers, from within 90 cities and towns, to be matched one-to-one as a mentor for a child in need or as a friend to an adult with disabilities.

What path led you to your current position at JBBBS?

I have always been passionate about doing meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of others. For these reasons, my career began in public service where I was an Assistant District Attorney prosecuting criminal cases and later an Assistant Attorney General protecting the civil rights of Massachusetts citizens. In this new life chapter, I wanted to work at a Jewish non-profit organization where I could direct my passion and energy towards something significant and impactful in the Jewish community as well as in the broader Boston community.

What motivates you most about your work at JBBBS?

First, I am motivated and proud to work for a mentoring agency that serves children, their families, and adults with disabilities of all faiths and backgrounds, including immigrants, refugees, and those in the LGBTQ community. Second, I am motivated by our amazing Jewish and non-Jewish volunteers who inspire me every day by volunteering their precious time to helping those in need. Finally, I am motivated by the knowledge that my recruitment of volunteers is the first important step in a process that will lead to mentoring relationships that change lives and futures.

Outside of the office what are your favorite hobbies or past times?

I love hiking, yoga, and spending time with my family! I am also passionate about Israel, having been born there, and I love visiting family and friends there every chance I get!

Friend 2 Friend Volunteer Spotlight, Michael Lourie

This month’s Volunteer Shout Out goes to Michael Lourie. Michael saved the day (or should we say “evening”) last month, when the trivia night host that was scheduled to run a Friend 2 Friend MAGIC group called the agency to alert them that he had strep throat. During Michael’s intake interview he had shared that he hosted trivia nights as a side business. You guessed it, after a quick call, he saved the day and stepped in seamlessly, refusing to be compensated for his efforts and hosting a fabulous night of trivia.

Michael has been matched with his friend James or “JB” and the two have been in a MAGIC group together for the past 9 months. Michael’s wife Jennifer is also a volunteer in the same MAGIC group. Michael and Jennifer learned about the MAGIC program from a friend who encouraged them to join the group. Michael shared that his great uncle had always been an advocate for people with disabilities, having lost a child at a very early age who had significant challenges. Michael still cherishes the old press clippings about his uncle’s work on behalf of those less fortunate than himself, which has left Michael feeling “sensitive to those who could use some friendship and a kind word now and then.”

When asked what his favorite thing to do with James is, Michael shared that “it may sound cliché, but I really just like ‘hanging out’ with James. He is such a sweet soul- and his knowledge of so many topics makes for some excellent conversation. I liked James from the very start.”

When he is not volunteering with JBBBS, Michael enjoys going to the gym, watching movies with his wife, Jennifer, watching classic black and white movies (by himself), hosting team trivia nights (his side business) listening to awesome 80’s tunes and spending time with his family. He is the Director of Business Development for the Bulfinch Group.

We are grateful to Michael for his ongoing commitment to James and for his willingness to jump into action at a moments notice. Thank you Michael for being such a great volunteer!

 

Our November 2018 Volunteer Shout Out

Friend 2 Friend Volunteer Paul Crocetti

Paul Crocetti has been a volunteer in the Friend 2 Friend MAGIC program for the past three years. He was recruited at a lunchtime information session at TechTarget in Newton where he is the senior site editor of SearchDisasterRecovery and SearchDataBackup in their storage media group. Paul has found his volunteer experience to be very meaningful, and kindly agreed to speak at a recent recruitment breakfast where he shared his experiences with his colleagues.

In Paul’s words, “The MAGIC program has been a special experience. In just three years, I feel that my match and I have become good friends. We look forward to the monthly events and always have nice conversations, as we share many common interests such as photography, the Red Sox, and movies. I anticipate being in the program for a long time!”

Our volunteers are our best ambassadors and we are so appreciative of Paul’s willingness to share his story with his colleagues. Thank you Paul for being a such a great volunteer!