Volunteer Spotlight: Harold Plessner


Harold Plessner, JFS Orlando Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry Volunteer, and wife, Carol, on the Wekiva trail with homemade face masks.

Harold Plessner, JFS Orlando Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry Volunteer, and wife, Carol, on the Wekiva trail with homemade face masks.


“I find that there is nothing more satisfying than experiencing the feeling of helping someone who is less fortunate than I am and to receive the acknowledgment of gratitude that someone expresses in their time of need.” Harold Plessner has found his volunteer work with JFS Orlando to be both meaningful and rewarding as he gets the opportunity to interact and meet good people, whether they be his fellow volunteers or those in need. 

After retiring in 2016, Harold made the choice to start volunteering with JFS in the Pearlman Emergency Food Pantry. He explains, “I felt the need to do something for the community as a volunteer.” Because he has been a longtime resident of Central Florida, he has “always had a connection to JFS due to the wonderful services they provide to those who have suffered drastic lifestyle changes and misfortune”. 

Harold has not only found his volunteer work to be meaningful, but enjoyable as well because of the friendly environment and comradery he finds here. “The staff are always thanking the volunteers”, he says. “no one ever complains. It is an extremely friendly atmosphere.” Not only does Harold enjoy his time with the volunteers, but he is always blown away by how joyful those in need are. “The clients are so grateful for the food sets and other commodities that are provided to them.” 

Since volunteering with JFS has been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, Harold has seen substantial change in his life. Because of social distancing, not only has he not been able to continue volunteering, but he and his wife haven’t been able to see their family nearly as much as before. Like so many others, he explains how “the inability to travel has also dampened our spirits”. However, Harold is finding ways to cope and find solace during these times. “I find myself doing more chores around the house, exercising more and playing tennis at least twice a week. I walk with my wife just about every day, weather permitting. I am more health conscious.”  

When asked what he wished the community knew about JFS, he says he simply wishes they knew their mission and that JFS provides “services for those families and individuals who are in need of nourishment and sustainment, mental health welfare, transportation, family stabilization, and religious support through the available chaplain.”  

Thank you, Harold, for all that you do to support our community through your service in the Pantry, as well as your hopeful and appreciative outlook on life. Never stop cherishing and celebrating people the way that you do!

Interested in helping your community by volunteering with JFS? Roles include helping out in the Pantry and behind-the-scenes office assistance. Although due to the pandemic volunteering at JFS Orlando is currently on hold, you can still begin your application for when the program re-opens by contacting us at 407-644-7593 ext.249 or Audrey.Cohen@JFSorlando.org.

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