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  • Writer's pictureRachel Nelson

Meet the Board | Jeanette

One of the first people to get involved with NeighborLink Indianapolis was Jeanette Jefferis. She had already been an active volunteer with her church’s Neighbor 2 Neighbor program, which was very similar to NeighborLink, making the transition to helping NeighborLink an easy one.

A retired nurse, Jeanette has a natural ability to convey information to an elderly homeowner and give them comfort with the process around repairing their home. Her prior professional and volunteer experiences have made her very comfortable with working with low income seniors. Instead of discussing topics in the health arena, their conversation is now around aging safely in their home. It falls in line with her ability to navigate challenges around talking about maintaining health at home.

For years, Jeanette has not only been the one to reach out to a homeowner in need to walk them through the process of NeighborLink coming out to their home to complete a project. She was one of the volunteers with a scraper in one hand and paintbrush in the other. She would orchestrate an entire project from initial contact to supply gathering to matching the volunteer group to the right project and on through the actual project day completion.

“I like working with seniors and actually being able to do some of the repair work they need. In my case, it’s painting projects that I can handle as I am not a skilled handyman.”

Jeanette has had the opportunity to meet and work with many homeowners over the years and has appreciated how they show appreciation to the groups of volunteers. In one case, the client picked up Long’s donuts for the group of high school kids who would be painting her house. Another client bought pizza for his crew of volunteers doing yard work. College students were thanked with a bunch of popsicles after painting a house and garage. A couple of years ago, a homeowner drew the outlines of her cats on a thank you note for a group after an extensive clean-up of the inside and outside of her house.

“The special ways clients thank us are memorable.”

In addition to helping NeighborLink, Jeanette enjoys gardening, traveling and reading. She encourages volunteering with any opportunity that grabs you. If helping seniors and individuals with disabilities age in place grabs your attention, consider grabbing a paintbrush and joining Jeanette on the Painting Pals volunteer team.

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