Woman’s Club member mentors high school grads

Trish Jacobson, Co-President of the Woman’s Club of Delray Beach, was recently featured in a “People & Places” article in the Sun Sentinel, written by Jennifer Shapiro-Sacks, a special correspondent.550x309

Trish resides in Delray Beach, born in St. Louis, Missouri, and has a husband, daughter, and Labrador Retriever.  Her interview comments:

 Career:  Business development, marketing and strategic planning, cottage renovation/interior design and bible teacher

Organization:  The GFWC Woman’s Club of Delray Beach is dedicated to community improvement by enhancing the lives of others through volunteer service. The club focuses on educational outreach, offers scholarships to high school graduates, financially supports the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Program leadership program for high school students as well as the Delray Reads program and promotes literacy. Club members volunteer throughout the community at the Caring Kitchen, the Achievement Centers for Children & Families, veterans’ groups, the Delray Beach Public Library, Habitat for Humanity, local churches and elementary schools as well as others.

How long have you been volunteering there?  Four years

Why do you volunteer? Delray Beach is a community of extremes: extreme wealth and extreme poverty. The Woman’s Club supports local organizations that strive to ensure everyone in our community has a chance at success.

Why did you choose this organization? The Delray Beach Woman’s Club is a century old and deeply rooted in the community. The club is responsible for the creation of the wide sidewalks on Atlantic Avenue as a solution to keep the mud from soiling the long dresses of the day. In 1916, The club enlisted the aid of the Board of Trade and the general public in having a community Christmas tree, paid the salary of the public school house custodian and beautified school grounds. Today the club, which owns the 505 Teen Center, supports women, children, literacy programs and annually funds four-year college scholarships to qualified Atlantic High School seniors.

Describe your volunteer role. In addition to leading the organization, I have the privilege of mentoring college bound Atlantic High School graduates that are awarded the club’s four-year college scholarships. Our club can truly make a difference in the lives of young women by supporting them throughout their college experience, encouraging them to stay, live and work in Delray Beach upon graduation.

What are your goals when you volunteer?  To make a difference in the lives of women and children in Delray Beach with the club’s emphasis on family, education and literacy, trusting our contributions lead to positive, long lasting outcomes for the residents.

What challenges have you faced?  Upon joining the club, we had fewer than 15 members, an increase from eight members the year prior. Increasing membership was our biggest challenge. Today our membership exceeds 60. Club members are active and visible in the community participating with the nonprofit group at the Chamber of Commerce. Key to solving the membership challenge was hiring a public relations consultant to publicize and educate the community highlighting our annual donations to the many local charities we support.

What does your organization need? Currently we need sponsorships and bakers for our annual event – Real Men Bake and Rock at the Sock Hop. Sponsorship categories are $100, $250 and $500. Bakers bring their sweet or savory treats to compete in the tasting contest. The sponsorships will defer the expenses so every penny raised will be donated to The Achievement Center for Children and Families, The Milagro Center, library, Caring Kitchen, Wheels from the Heart, Delray Police, Historical Society and to fund the college scholarships.

Are any special events coming up?  Sixth annual Real Men Bake and Rock at the Sock Hop in conjunction with Old School Square on April 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Field House at Old School Square in Delray Beach. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

Is there a specific memorable moment that stands out to you during your time volunteering?  The Woman’s Club has adopted two elementary schools in Delray Beach – Pine Grove and Orchard View. Several years ago, while tutoring second-grade students at Pine Grove Elementary School, I learned from the children they had never seen the ocean nor had they been to the beach located less than five minutes away. I made arrangements with the school for a field trip. We hired a Palm Beach County school bus to transport the 62 second-graders to visit Gumbo Limbo Nature Center then headed to the beach where the students walked on sand for the first time in their lives and saw with their own eyes the Atlantic Ocean. It was an inspiring, memorable day for everyone.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? If any woman is interested in joining us in our humble endeavors, we’d love for you to contact us.