From Giving to Going: The story of a donor who also became a volunteer
It all started with a jewelry store. For forty years, Jack Stephen Hollis designed one-of-a-kind pieces for his clients and later their children. He loved interacting with each customer, working diligently to bring their ideas to life. Hollis never expected for his job to connect him to giving back to the community, and yet it was this position alongside a few prominent friends that introduced him to the Athens Community Council on Aging.
“The jewelry store I worked at, Aurum Studios, had been a long-time donor to ACCA. They knew that the value and the benefits of supporting ACCA were longstanding, and that rubbed off on me. I also was good friends with Micheal and Mary Erlanger who had been developmental in starting the council on aging. I was close enough to them to know what they had done for ACCA and decided I needed to look into it more for myself,” said Hollis.
Beyond his job and friends, Hollis had another deeper personal connection.
“I had a dear grandmother that lived with us. So, I feel very much bonded with older adults, and ACCA certainly fits that bill,” said Hollis.
Alongside his husband, David Hammond, Hollis has given to ACCA for several years.
“Early on, we would just drop off checks and donations of items here and there, but we later realized that we should be more consistent and donate monthly,” Hollis said. “We honestly do not keep track of how much or how long we have given. We just do it because it is what we feel like we should do, because there is such a need.”
Beyond monetary investments, Hollis saw the impact of his donations when he volunteered at ACCA for the first time at the June Mobile Food Pantry.
“I had no idea the extent that ACCA was giving food to people. I knew they did Meals on Wheels, but I did not know that they were helping with other food insecurity needs until I came and volunteered. It was definitely an eye-opening experience for me to see where the money is going and how well it’s being used,” said Hollis. “I was also taken back by the comradery of all the people who were working there. Everyone was very professional, and I was impressed by how well everyone worked together. I came away from it with a much better feeling about ACCA and the work that they do. Even though I had a good feeling before, seeing the scope of what they do really resonated with me.”
Volunteering made it real for Hollis. Through his time with ACCA, he has experienced the value of supporting an organization both from behind the scenes and on the front lines.
“I fully believe in volunteering. I saw the heart of ACCA through volunteering, and it gives me a great feeling for Athens that we have something like ACCA in our community. It was wonderful to see the number of people I knew that were donating their time like I was donating mine,” said Hollis.
He further supports ACCA because he believes in the universality of their cause.
“We’re all going to get older. We all have someone or know someone who is older who could use help. It is a direct need that I think everyone has a connection to whether in their own lives or with someone they love,” said Hollis.
Want to make an impact and be inspired like Jack Hollis? Volunteer at our Mobile Food Pantries and help ACCA make a difference in Athens. Discover more at accaging.org/volunteers/.