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Donor spotlight: Jeffrey and Jennifer Wolff

Nov 01, 2016

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Jeffrey and Jennifer Wolff’s Kiwanis stories started long before they became advocates for The Eliminate Project—Jeff serving as the campaign vice chairman, Service Leadership Programs. In fact, their stories started even before they each became members of the Tysons, Virginia, Kiwanis club.

Jeff and Jen are products of Kiwanis Service Leadership Programs and received many opportunities through their memberships in Key Club and Circle K International. For them, joining Kiwanis was a way to give back to programs that shaped them as servant leaders. Jen has been a member of the Tysons Corner club for 11 years, and Jeff—the club’s charter secretary—has been a member for 18 years.

Between the two, they have held several leadership roles within their club and district. They are generous supporters of The Eliminate Project and Heritage Society members. And they stay involved with Service Leadership Programs in the Capital District. But what makes their story special is that they get to share their passion for service with their three daughters.

“Children learn from example, and they see that Kiwanis’ mission is important to Mom and Dad when we take them to Kiwanis events,” Jeff says. “It comes down to a state of mind. They are aware that they have a roof over their heads and three meals a day…regardless of how eager they are to eat their vegetables!”

The Wolffs are a true Kiwanis family—dedicated to service and giving back.

Three things you need to know about Jeff and Jen:

Favorite Kiwanis memories
Jen: One of my favorite projects would be when CKI held a Large Scale Service Project in St. Louis. Kiwanis and CKI members took a run-down, old elementary school and made it something beautiful and inviting. My team worked on the school’s library, painting the shelves bright colors, installing new rugs, organizing their old book collection and combining it with new books donated from the Kiwanis family. The look on the children’s faces when they were invited into their new library for storytime with us was priceless!

Jeff: I’ve participated in a lot service projects in my time, served in many leadership positions and attended a lot of conventions, all of which were great experiences in their own right. But, honestly, my UNICEF site visit to Cambodia in February 2013 is hands down the most eye-opening experience I have had as a Kiwanian. I had the opportunity to see first-hand the impact that The Eliminate Project was having on mothers and babies around the world.

Their motivation to protect moms and babies
Jen and I are both very supportive of The Eliminate Project, both in time and treasure. We were brand new parents when the project was announced in June 2010 (our oldest, Charlotte, had been born four weeks before the Kiwanis International convention in Las Vegas). We felt that the initiative was not only at the core of what Kiwanis is about—the needs of children—but that it would have a dramatic impact on the world. The idea that any parent should lose a child anywhere in the world from a preventable disease is unconscionable.

Advice to young, charitable Kiwanians
Figure out what is important to you as an individual or couple and seek out an organization that addresses that need. Be sure to utilize online resources like Charity Navigator to be sure that the most money possible from your donation actually makes it to the need. Planned giving, even in small amounts, can make a huge difference over time and volume of donors. Consider automatic credit card donations that take the hassle out of sitting down to repeatedly write checks. Lots of people give on “Giving Tuesday,” so try donating at other times of the year, if you are going to make ad-hoc donations.