John Marx dedicates his time in retirement to giving back to the community.
John Marx, 82, of West Bloomfield was nominated as Volunteer of the Week by the Michigan-based nonprofit JARC for his commitment to the organization.
“There is no task too small or unimportant for John,” explains Shaindle Braunstein, JARC’s CEO.
“Regardless of whether it’s hours of filing or custom-wrapping 200 chocolate bars for a staff surprise, John is on it with no detail overlooked. He always has a smile on his face and some great entertainment cued up for his air pods,” she said. “John’s only motivation is to do what he can to ease the burden on our staff so they can remain focused on ensuring the people JARC serves live their best lives possible.”
The nonprofit serves people with developmental disabilities via group homes, independent living support and in-home respite care.
Marx says he’s volunteered throughout his life, but it wasn’t until he retired that he started to be actively involved with organizations like the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Jewish Family Service, Temple Beth El’s Braille Bindery and JARC.
“When volunteering, you end up getting back much more than you end up giving. And it gives you a good feeling,” Marx said.
In the past, Marx held a position on the JARC board for several years. Now he and his wife, Judy, continue to give back to the organization as volunteers on a regular basis.
“Judy and I have done various volunteer projects at the JARC homes,” Marx added. “For many years, I’ve helped put up a sukkah at one of the JARC homes and, in the spring, I help plant flowers.”
When COVID hit, Marx had to pull back some of his volunteer work at the JARC homes. For the past two years, he’s been helping the JARC staff in their offices.
“Anything that I could do to be helpful,” Marx said. “For JARC to keep running, they receive contributions from people in the community. And every one of those contributions has to get written down and eventually filed. Well, nobody who was getting paid to do other things wants to sit around and file all those things. So, that’s one of the things that I have been able to do, and it allows the JARC staff to focus on more important things.”
For almost 25 years, Marx has built a good relationship with some of the JARC residents. He and Judy sometimes invite them over to visit.
“My wife and I have had several of the JARC residents at our house for various events. Sometimes my wife plays the piano while we listen and enjoy snacks together,” he said.
Giving back to JARC is more than just volunteering to Marx. The staff and residents are like a second family to him.
“There is no other organization in the city that has 20 group homes helping people with disabilities to live a relatively normal life. I admire everything JARC does for the people they serve.”
Marx says while he’s regularly involved with JARC, plenty of organizations throughout the community could use volunteers for support, and he encourages others to volunteer if they can.
To learn more about JARC and how you can volunteer with the organization head to jarc.org.
If you would like to nominate someone to be the next volunteer of the week, send a nomination with a short paragraph telling us why to email@example.com.