Happy Pearlman Pantry Volunteer Appreciation month!
April 24, 2020
JFS Orlando can't wait to welcome back all of our volunteers once the JFS building opens back up due to COVID-19. Two of those wonderful volunteers are Robin and Marty Katz.
Teamwork makes the dream work. Robin and Marty have volunteered together with JFS Orlando for about a decade. "I do it with Marty because he does the heavy lifting and I do the sorting and putting away," says Robin. "And so we have a very good teamwork!"
Robin, originally from Chicago, and Marty, originally from New York, met in Arizona. They ran their own restaurant there until they decided to move to Florida in 1997. They sold the restaurant and bought a new business in Florida, a tea distributorship. At the same time, Robin was also a counselor and teacher. Now both retired, they enjoy working out, staying healthy, and their individual hobbies. Marty plays the trumpet with the Maitland Symphony Orchestra and Robin enjoys playing Mahjong. Additionally, they both enjoy volunteering in JFS Orlando's Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry.
"We've always known about JFS!" says Robin. "Actually, Marty started volunteering several years ago. I started to do it with him. We like volunteering together. It's such a good thing. We feel so good about doing it." Robin and Marty volunteer the first and second Monday of every month for a couple hours in the afternoon. "It's the easiest way for you to do community service," says Marty. "It's do-able. It's a two-hour stretch," says Robin.
The Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry serves clients of all walks of life who have run into an emergency and simply need a "hand up" to make ends meet. People come to pick-up food in their car, on the bus, and even on bicycles and wheelchairs! It's something that has made quite an impression on Robin. "It really gets to me when I see people going on the bus, carrying all of these things, on a rainy day. What they have to go through to get food is enormous!"
When asked what they like the most about volunteering with JFS, the answer is clear: "Feeding people!" says Marty. "And we really like connecting with the people," says Robin. "We like the generosity of the donors. And we love the blessings and the thankfulness from the people who get it. It's just a really good thing."
Besides our wonderful Pantry assistant, the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry is almost entirely run by volunteers. It simply couldn't function without them. That's why, when asked what she wishes the community knew about JFS, Robin says "That they need more volunteers. And there's a lot of people that volunteer, but they're always calling for more. I wish more people would come and see how nice it is to do it... if they would just give it a try!"
Thank you, Robin and Marty, for caring so much for the Pantry and the people we serve. You two are the perfect example of a power couple and we love having you on the JFS Volunteer Team! We can't wait to see you once we open back up again.
Interested in helping your community by volunteering with JFS? Roles include helping out in the Pantry and behind-the-scenes office assistance. To start your application now and be ready to come in once the JFS building opens again, contact us at 407-644-7593 ext. 249 or Audrey.Cohen@JFSorlando.org.