Volunteer Spotlight: Carla Betts and Jane Cohen

JFS Orlando Assistant Director Heather Petrusky with her mom Carla Betts;  Program Coordinator Audrey Cohen with her mom Jane Cohen.

JFS Orlando Assistant Director Heather Petrusky with her mom Carla Betts;  Program Coordinator Audrey Cohen with her mom Jane Cohen.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, especially our JFS Orlando mom volunteers! Carla Betts is the mom of JFS Assistant Director Heather Petrusky, and Jane Cohen is the mom of JFS Program Coordinator Audrey Cohen. Both moms found out about volunteering at JFS from their daughters and started volunteering in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry last year. 

Carla grew up in Cleveland, but has lived in Florida for the past 40 years. She retired last year after working 30 years in the school district, first as a teacher and then as an administrator. She enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and her two daughters, Jessica and Heather. Jane was born and raised in Philadelphia. She moved to attend Rollins College, where she majored in Art History. In her free time she loves to go to art museums, spend time with her two daughters and husband of 41 years, get in the kitchen and cook, as well as gardening and going on bike rides. 

One thing Jane loves about volunteering at JFS is meeting her fellow volunteers. “I love meeting all the other volunteers who have all been so nice and generous with their time,” she says. “I always volunteer Thursday mornings and I get to work with Matthew, who I love! We have a lot of fun together.” Something special that has stood out the most to Carla is the gratefulness of the clients. “Giving food to people in need is very rewarding,” she explains. “I enjoy preparing the bags and interacting with the community.” Jane agrees saying “I like being helpful to our community. I love being able to work so closely with the clients. Working in the Pantry you really get to see the difference being made in these people’s lives. Nobody should go hungry. I love being able to give a cart full of groceries to someone in need.” 

Carla and Jane see first-hand the value of the emergency food assistance in the Pantry, but they both also see and understand the importance of the other services JFS offers to the community. Jane explains how “JFS helps many people in so many different ways. Not only with the Pantry, but with all of the programs they offer. They will help anyone who is in need.” “JFS does so much for the community,” adds Carla. “They also offer a whole array of services to help people in need, like mental health counseling, family stabilization services, senior transportation assistance and chaplaincy services.” 

Although volunteering is an incredible selfless act, both Carla and Jane agree that it is a gift that gives back. “It’s very worthwhile to give back to the community. JFS is a wonderful organization and a pleasure to volunteer at,” says Carla. “Volunteering is the best medicine,” continues Jane. “Being a part of the JFS family and helping their clientele is so rewarding. They are doing incredible work. You get to help the people directly and see that you are making a difference.” 

Thank you, Carla and Jane, for being wonderful moms to Heather and Audrey, and now to the JFS family! We’re so glad to have you on the JFS Volunteer Team! 

Interested in helping your community by volunteering with JFS? Roles include helping out in the Pantry and behind-the-scenes office assistance. To sign up, contact us at 407-644-7593 ext. 249 or Audrey.Cohen@JFSorlando.org. 

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