PATTY JONES Different kind of donation Patty Jones' free time isn't all that free. Last year, she took on more than 100 assignments as a member of Indianapolis Ambassadors. And that's just for starters. She also volunteered for dozens of activities at Greenwood Christian Church, was treasurer of her neighborhood association and served on the board of Joy's House, a provider of adult day services.
"We all have talents and mine help organizations," said Jones, 45, owner of Insurance and Financial Needs in Indianapolis.
Yes, she said, not-for-profit organizations need money to survive. But what she and others like her offer is valuable, too.
"They also need the talents of people who push them and help move them forward. Those are my abilities and skills and that's how I give back to the community," she said.
Among her volunteer efforts is Rod & Staff Ministry. Jones is helping to organize an April fund-raising dinner, said David Schmisseur, a board member of the ministry that uses biblical teachings as the basis for personal counseling and problem solving.
"Her gift is organizational help. She knows everything about this kind of event, from working with caterers to invitations. She can do anything you might need" to make the fund raiser a success, he said. "Patty seems called to do this."
Jones caught the volunteer bug at IUPUI, where she graduated in 1984 with a degree in business administration and communications.
She was vice president for service of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. "I organized several programs while I was taking classes. I loved that campus," she said.
Jones does not expect her activities to slow down this year. She's the new president of Indianapolis Ambassadors, which has about 500 members who provide roughly 11,000 volunteer hours a year to organizations throughout the city. Jones also volunteers about 20 hours a week at Riley Hospital for Children, where she's been working on the next batch of patient-designed Christmas cards sold each year as a fund raiser.
She said her "outsider" point of view is what helps organizations succeed.
"There are many people out there who are passionate about their organization. But the most successful ones are those with passion and a dream" about what they'd like their organization to accomplish, she said.
She helps organizations keep the dream in front of them and work toward it. "My goal is to leave them better than when we first met," Jones said. "I tell people all the time that volunteering is not about you. It's what you can do for someone else."
Know someone who makes a difference helping others despite the demands of work and family? E-mail "Doing Good" suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.