Rachael Tillery, a senior financial analyst with Brown Advisory, was first introduced to Jewish Volunteer Connection (JVC) last year when she wanted to do something about food insecurity.

“Volunteering was difficult,” Rachael says, looking back at when the pandemic hit. “When everything closed down, my friends and I were struggling to find ways we could help. I reached out to different organizations, but the pandemic made finding things challenging. That’s how I discovered JVC.”

Rachael, and eight of her friends, took part in JVC’s Casserole Challenge, a yearly initiative in November. Together they donated casseroles to support families and individuals in need. While it was meant to be a one-time experience at first, Rachael jumped at the opportunity to take things further when she was approached by a JVC staff member about becoming a VolunTeam leader.

“We were excited to take our group to the next level.”

As a VolunTeam leader, Rachael coordinates her own group of volunteers. It’s her job to find opportunities that are meaningful to them. JVC works with Rachael and leverages its partnerships with other organizations to find the perfect match. This unique program offers a variety of benefits, including working around busy schedules – something that often keeps people from volunteering long-term.

The team’s first official event was with Mitzvah Day, part of JVC’s Annual Days of Service, this last December. On Christmas Eve, Rachael and her team donated 30 casseroles. And while the group only recently formed, it is already picking up steam.

“We thought we would meet up once a quarter, but now we meet monthly. We’ve also begun partnering with an organization in West Baltimore.”

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The Associated Contributors

The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.