Go Giver: Julie Jacob

Go Giver: Julie Jacob

Julie Jacob, 30, credits her University of Central Florida sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, with introducing her to community service. Throughout college she helped many charities, but felt a special bond with children staying at the local Ronald McDonald House, which provides temporary housing for families of seriously ill or injured children to stay nearby while their child is hospitalized or receives medical treatment.

“I worked fundraisers, collected soda can tabs and cooked dinners for families at the Ronald McDonald House. I most enjoyed connecting with the children, who came into the kitchen asking questions about dinner, wanting to help…it was a way to forget their illness or injury for a while. Those children just have such a special place in my heart,” Jacob said. “After college, I kept volunteering anywhere that helps ill children.”

While living in Memphis, Tenn., Jacob became a volunteer for ABA Place, founded by her close friend Jenni Helms. Helms founded the charity because of her autistic son and a lack of socialization and recreational opportunities for autistic children. ABA Place (refers to Applied Behavior Analysis, therapies used to treat autism) offers fun educational programs combined with ABA therapies to improve the lives of autistic children.

Since Jacob, a Hyatt Event Sales Manager since 2006, and her husband Clinton, 31, moved to Jacksonville for his work at Medtronic, Jacob has volunteered with THRIVE, Hyatt’s community service program. THRIVE coordinates monthly volunteer opportunities at charities including Daniel House, Jacksonville Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House and homeless shelters. Jacob also coordinates Hyatt’s volunteer Green Team on beach clean-ups and community beautification, including Hemming Plaza.

“When I discovered the Ronald McDonald House in San Marco near my home, I joined The Red Shoe Crew. These young professionals host service projects, fundraisers, social and networking events to benefit RMH,” Jacob said. “In July we did Rock the House 5K and in September I was co-chair for the annual Fries with That Wine at the Garden Club on Riverside Avenue: a wine tasting event combined with favorite fast foods.”

Jacob also volunteers with Jacksonville’s J.L. Wiley Foundation for stroke awareness, treatment and healthcare advocacy, founded by friends. She especially enjoys the annual Ultimate Chili Master Cook-off fundraiser where professional and amateur chefs prepare their secret recipes. She is a Partner in Hope Sustaining Donor for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

The couple, vegan foodies, landscaped their yard around Clinton’s seasonal vegetable, fruit and herb gardens, bird houses and feeders. Julie, an avid runner who enjoys substituting healthier ingredients for favorite recipes, tests them out on family members (who she laughingly admits sometimes head for McDonald’s afterwards). The Jacobs plan annual ski trips out West and will visit Napa Valley next summer. Other Jacob family members are rescue Labrador Retriever Maggie, and Elton, their Corgi.

By Julie Kerns Garmendia
Resident Community News

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