Volunteer Spotlight April 2022: Ted Peilen
Can you tell us about yourself and your background?
I was born and raised in St. Louis Park, where I always had a connection to the local Jewish community growing up, whether through Talmud Torah, BBYO or synagogue. I went to college out-of-state and lived all over the country for several years after, but always knew I wanted to end up back in Minnesota. I moved back to the Twin Cities for law school and knew this is where I wanted to be for good.
What motivated you to begin volunteering with JFCS and how long have you been volunteering with JFCS?
One of my goals when moving back to Minneapolis was to become more involved in the Jewish community, both to give back and to meet and connect with more people, since it had been several years since I had lived in Minnesota. A member of the NextGen Board got in touch with me and asked if I’d like to get involved in some local volunteering events. I’ve been volunteering with JFCS ever since.
What JFCS programs do you volunteer with?
I started out volunteering with different JFCS events from time to time, but in the spring of 2020, I was asked to join the NextGen Board, which has been a very rewarding experience.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with JFCS and how has being a JFCS volunteer impacted your life?
My favorite part about volunteering with JFCS is getting to participate in programs and events that have a direct impact on the community. Whether it’s organizing school supplies to donate for the upcoming school year, wrapping presents that were donated for kids’ birthday parties, or organizing donation drives, it’s so great to know that what we do will have an immediate effect on the communities we serve.
Do you have a memorable story about your JFCS volunteer experience to share?
One of my first volunteer events with JFCS was participating in the ParentChild+ graduation ceremony. The kids and families had an absolute blast, and it was easy to tell how much they got out of the program. It was also great to see how JFCS works to bring together and improve the lives of people in all communities throughout the Twin Cities, no matter their background.
What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering with JFCS?
Simple – get involved! I’ve been volunteering with JFCS for almost two years now and I’m still learning about all of the different ways to get involved. There is truly something for everyone.