Reaching Out: Jayne Foley of Assistance League of St. Louis
assistance league of st. louis mission: To identify, develop, implement and fund ongoing philanthropic programs that serve the specific needs of children and adults in the St. Louis community.
Q| How long have you been a volunteer?
A| Eight years
Q| What made you interested in this particular cause?
A| I was a nurse at St. Mary’s Health Center for 30 years and when I retired, one of my former colleagues who had retired the year before told me about Assistance League. She thought I would be interested because it offered lots of opportunities to help people, which is what I’m really passionate about. I became a member of the local chapter, which is part of the more than 100-year-old national organization of 121 chapters.
Q| What kind of volunteer work are you involved with?
A| Assistance League offers six different philanthropic programs. When I first joined, I wanted to be exposed to all of them to help me decide where to get the most involved. But I found I was interested in a lot of them! I was on the education committee for six years and helped start the Assistance League University, a system to develop leaders within our organization through classes taught by our own members. I had heard members were hesitant about taking on leadership roles, so I knew we needed to give them the tools to make them competent to take on those roles. I also am very involved in delivering activity kits. We pass out more than 22,000 annually to 21 area hospitals, schools and agencies. We were making them only for younger children, and I realized there was a need for the older crowd as well, so we started assembling kits for teenagers and adults too. They really are a great distraction for hospital patients and those in the waiting room and help everyone involved not focus on the clock. My current role in public relations has really energized me. I’ve been exposed to so many different organizations and people in St. Louis I never knew existed, and I’m part of making meaningful connections for Assistance League. I sit on the Community Response Team for the Ferguson-Florissant School District and work closely with Saint Louis Public Schools, Jennings School District, Innovative Concept Academy and Gene Slay’s Boys’ Club of St. Louis. My role has really grown since I started it three years ago. We used to wait for people to call us to come out and do presentations, and now we’re much more assertive and are out looking for opportunities. We want to get out there and meet people who will be instrumental to our mission.
Q| If you could do anything for the organization, what would it be?
A| I would love to expose more of our members to the opportunities I’ve had meeting those involved with other organizations around the area. I really want more people to experience what St. Louis has to offer in the nonprofit world; there are so many good things going on. You learn a lot interacting with others from different walks of life with different viewpoints and backgrounds!
In the Words of Assistance League: “Jayne’s leadership skills, unparalleled energy level and dedication were immediately recognized and implemented. She continues to make significant and groundbreaking contributions to Assistance League, which will have a lasting impact on the organization.”
meet the assistance league board
Seated: Vicki Merz, Pat Plummer, Roxie Randolph, Lisa Breer, Suzanne Pratl, Vicki Kearney. Standing: Jan Hunt, Kathy Reese, Jeannine Aldridge, Sandy Johnson, Patricia Ward