Congratulations to our December Volunteer Spotlight: Joan Kripke! We couldn't do what we do without the help of our incredible volunteers like you!
Joan has been volunteering with TOV the past year through our COVID-19 Volunteer Darabase and Nourish Our Neighborhoods. We wanted to get to know Joan a little bit more, so she answered some of our questions below.
1. How did you first get involved with TOV/JUF?
How did I get involved? I don't really know how or why, but I started getting the TOV newsletter. The first request was to write a letter to one of the people in Self-Help Home, as the residents were isolated during the beginning of the COVID-19 shutdown. As a letter writer, I thought that would be easy, and I knew one of the residents, so I had a picture in my mind of the person to whom I was writing. I'm still writing almost every week, and of course, for the chagim.
2. What makes it important for you to volunteer through TOV?
TOV makes it easy for people of all ages and incomes to participate. The needs listed are tangible to everybody- a toy for a child, toiletries for people who are homeless. These types of requests are understandable and make it easy for everyone to put herself in the position of the person in need and to give as one is able.
3. Are there any fun facts about you that we might not know?
I once chaired the charitable funds committee for a Chicago synagogue. I made the committee more viable by specifying certain charities that would receive our money each year; people were more willing to fund the committee, as they saw the tangible way their monies would be spent. It also allowed people of limited means to participate in a greater good. I also started a kids adjunct to the adult committee. We held a bowling party every year and the kids got parents, relatives, friends to fund their bowling by paying 5 cents/pin. The kids then helped to decide which charities would receive money. One year, we bought a cow for the Masorti Kibbutz Hannaton. After soliciting names for the cow (we were allowed to name it), the top three names were voted on during the congregation's Purim party. In truly Chicago tradition, each vote cost $1, which raised more money. The winning name was "Geveret O'Leary."
We are so lucky to have Joan as part of our TOV family! To learn more about JUF’s important work in the community, sign up to volunteer, or to make a donation in her honor, please visit our website!