As part of the Hope Association’s efforts to shine some light on the people who make the Association the great place that it is, we’re looking at some of our volunteers. Today, we’re focusing on Jeanne Gaccetta.
Jeanne has only been serving in a volunteer capacity since around 1970 when Antoinette Umbro, one of the founding members of the Association, approached her to help raise money through a craft fair. Jeanne said “yes” and has been helping out ever since. When asked to share what she’s been involved with, she quietly shares a bit of this and a bit of that, and then quickly shares that she just likes doing things and not worrying about getting any credit for it. “It’s not who we are.”(The “we” referring to her husband, Vito, who, like Jeanne, has always been behind the scenes making things happen.) As the discussion continues, she shares that she’s been involved with the Association’s Annual Snowmobile Ride-In since at least the mid-70’s. She helped organize the Ride-In and prepped bean suppers for the club members, made raffle items and helped collect tickets and kept track of the ticket sales and any other chores that she could help with. She’s made countless afghans, quilts and other crafts to help support a variety of fundraising efforts. She was an active member of the What Not Shop Board of Directors until a decision was made to merge the What Not Shop with the Hope Association. She was a founding member of the Papillion Development Corp that helped provide needed supports to the Association, and she was active on the BEANO committee that raised money for the Association’s many special projects.
And now, 50 years later, she continues to volunteer her services to the Hope Association 2 days a week. She provides 1:1 support to program participants in the Community Support Services program by teaching crafts such as quilting. When asked what keeps her going, she smiles and shares that she loves working one on one with the participants. She loves standing by the door as the participants come in and watching them smile big smiles because they know that it’s their turn to work with her. She truly appreciates the pride that they take when they lay out and sew their own quilts. The participants really enjoy seeing what they can accomplish in the sewing room.
As mentioned above, Mrs. Gaccetta is a bit shy about tooting her own horn, but when it’s pointed out about how many volunteers have worked together to provide such great opportunities for so many neat people for so many years, she humbly shares that, “I guess I hadn’t quite looked at it that way.”
On behalf of so many people that can’t necessarily speak up for themselves, thank you very much Mrs. Gaccetta! We appreciate and need people like you!