Congrats to our January volunteer of the Month: Joey Kesner! We couldn't do what we do without the help of our incredible volunteers like you.
Joey has been volunteering with TOV for the past 7 years. Joey often participates in our Mitzvah Mania program and volunteers at the JUF Uptown Cafe. We wanted to get to know Joey a little bit more, so he answered some of our questions below.
1. How did you first get involved with TOV/JUF?
I've donated to JUF and attended various functions (Vanguard
dinners, YLD Big Event, Mensches in Motion) since graduating college in
2005. I'm not exactly sure when I first heard about TOV, but it's been
quite a while. I really enjoy Mitzvah Mania and the many opportunities it
provides to volunteer in my community.
What makes it important for you to volunteer
through TOV? Feel free to also share a story or experience that has inspired you.
think it's important to volunteer in general, but especially as Jews. It
is not only our obligation to help people, but to teach kindness and empathy to
our children. TOV has a number of family-friendly options that are both quality
time spent with my kids and a way to teach them by example. This is
something my parents did with me and something I appreciate more every day.
a few summers, I volunteered to assist with Keshet's Buddy Baseball
program. The kids that came out to the ballpark are some of the most
incredible people I've ever met. I loved how some kids flipped their bat
and did a home-run trot with all the pomp and circumstance of a Major Leaguer. My favorite part each week was when the kids would sing the National Anthem
before the game, in front of all the players and fans, and think nothing of
it. Just kids doing typical kid things. Made the trip from Downtown
to Buffalo Grove seem less like a schlep and more like an outing.
3. Are there any fun facts about you that we might not know?
A previous employer would give everyone one paid day
off per year to volunteer. I suggested to my manager that we should have
a Volunteer Day for our team to take advantage of this generous policy, and
wouldn't you guess who he put in charge? I think all my experience with
TOV over the years paid off and we had 3 successful team Volunteer Days.
We are so lucky to have Joey as part of our TOV family! To learn more about JUF's important work in the community, sign up to volunteer, or make a donation in his honor, please visit our website.