Honoree: Jacquie Boslet
Honored by: Families Forward
Cause Area: Hunger & Homelessness
Jacquie Boslet began volunteering with Families Forward in the fall of 2002, almost 14 years ago! Jacquie first became involved with Families Forward through her church, Irvine Presbyterian Church. Her church began collecting canned food items for Families Forward in the early 1990s. Jacquie believed in the mission of Families Forward and continues to believe in what Families Forward does to empower families to become independent and self-sufficient. In 1994, Jacquie invited our Executive Director, Margie Wakeham, to join her Irvine PTA Council Board. Together, they developed a program for schools to collect canned food items for Families Forward. This program opened an avenue for the Irvine schools to get involved in community service that had a direct impact in the city of Irvine, and directly supported and assisted families from their school sites. This program helped to educate the parents, students, and the staff at the schools of the need in the local community and at their own schools. This program and partnership helped Jacquie to further solidify her relationship with Families Forward and consequently formed a strong connection with the organization that continues today.
Jacquie has supported Families Forward in many ways over the past 14 years; however, the food program and food pantry are where she dedicates most of her time. She is our lead volunteer in our food pantry on Monday mornings. She oversees and leads about 15 volunteers every Monday and has developed a strong program and routine for our Monday volunteers. Jacquie helps to determine the tasks for the day, assigns tasks, and makes sure everyone is engaged and enjoying their volunteer experience. On Monday mornings, our volunteers do the food preparations for the week, the organization of the food donations and items on our pantry shelves, as well as sorting, inventorying, and shelving the food donations. Jacquie was also part of a group that helped to develop our food bag food lists and helped encourage the movement towards healthy food choices in our pantry. She feels strongly about providing healthy food items for the families and children in our food program.
Jacquie also assists with our Community Wide Food Drives, which take place once in the spring, summer, and fall. These events are instrumental with being able to increase our food supply in our food pantry during times when donations are typically low. Jacquie leads groups in our pantry with the processing, sorting, inventorying, and stocking of our shelves. Jacquie also serves on our Thanksgiving Program Committee. She leads the corporate and other groups that come, volunteer, and do the preparations with us in our pantry the week before for our big Thanksgiving Basket Distribution event. Jacquie also leads a volunteer station during our Thanksgiving Basket Distribution event.
In addition to volunteering with us in our food pantry and for our special events, Jacquie advocates for us at her other volunteer commitments, at her church, and in the community. She shares our mission, information about our programs, and encourages groups to get involved, especially by hosting food drives for our food pantry. At the Assistance League of Irvine, she organizes two food drives each year to support the food pantry and the families that we serve. Additionally, Jacquie organizes and coordinates food drives at her church, Irvine Presbyterian, and engages her community to donate and support Families Forward. Jacquie also chaired an “Adopt-a-House” event at Irvine Presbyterian to furnish and fill the kitchen of a Families Forward home.
Jacquie continues her volunteer service with us year after year because she believes in the mission of Families Forward and truly understands the need in our community. She finds joy out of doing something that makes a difference and is grateful for the opportunity to give back. She knows the impact that every volunteer and donor has on our mission and on our families. Furthermore, Jacquie enjoys working alongside our other volunteers and staff, and has developed lifelong friendships from volunteering at Families Forward.
As a lead food pantry volunteer, the ways in which Jacquie contributes to Families Forward are hard to count! We believe that volunteers like Jacquie who give unconditionally to our agency and the families that we serve are hard to come by, and she is certainly an asset to our mission and organization!