JFS Perspectives

Monday, July 09, 2018

Congratulations to 2018 Max Frankel Volunteers of the Year

Congratulations to 2018 Max Frankel Volunteers of the Year

Mady Kassanoff and Stephen Green were honored as the Jewish Family Service Max Frankel Volunteers of the Year at the Celebrate JFS event on June 18. Mady and Stephen are both retired librarians, a couple who share a deep sense of caring for those in our community who need a hand. Lucky for us, they chose JFS as one of the places to devote their time and energy.

Mady is no stranger to volunteerism. She has volunteered most of her adult life and since retirement has actively donated her time to the Denver Art Museum and History Colorado Center in addition to Jewish Family Service.

Mady and StephenShe began volunteering with JFS as a Friendly Visitor in 2011. As it so often happens, Mady and her client, Bess, hit it off and discovered that they had much in common. They forged a relationship talking about Bess’s early career as a singer in a swing band. Mady, a music lover, was transported to that era as Bess relived her experiences on the stage.

Shortly after Mady began volunteering with JFS, Stephen began volunteering as a food pantry home delivery driver. Stephen was volunteering at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science cataloging the botany collection and wanted to complement that volunteer experience with more human interaction. He delivered food and supplies to two homebound clients until both of those clients passed away. Taking on additional clients, Stephen has delivered food and supplies consistently on behalf of the food pantry for the past six years.

Nancy Benyamin, director of Volunteer Services, says, “We are so fortunate to have Stephen because to him it isn’t just about delivering food, it’s about his care and concern for his clients.Stephen makes sure his clients know they are not alone and that there are people in their lives who truly care.”

In addition to these monthly deliveries, Stephen and Mady deliver holiday meals together to homebound clients for Thanksgiving and Passover, and gladly take on more clients for those deliveries when needed.

Mady and Stephen Lunchbox ExpressDuring the summer, Stephen and Mady volunteer with our Lunchbox Express program. Year after year, you will find them passing out healthy lunches to the kids. As retired librarians, they especially enjoy helping the kids choose books to take home to read. As is their way, they are always willing to help and pick up an extra shift, when needed. In addition, they have spread the word about this great program and have recruited others to join in.

Nancy adds, “With Stephen and Mady it isn’t just about the different assignments and roles they have taken on at JFS, contributing to many of our major volunteer programs. It is the way they carry out those assignments—with the utmost care and respect for the people we serve. This couple embodies the mission and values of JFS.”

Learn more about our volunteer opportunities!