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Board Member Spotlight: Jean Strock, Mass2-1-1 Board

Name: Jean Strock

Town of Residence: Princeton, MA

Why did you decide to become a member of the Mass211 Board of Directors, and what are your duties? I was honored and gratified to be part of the first Mass211 Board of Directors. Many dedicated individuals worked for years to secure the 2-1-1 number for our Mass211 information and referral service. I joined people like Paul Mina as we formed the first board.

What is your favorite part of being on the Board? My favorite part of serving on the Board has been to see the progress made by Mass211 each and every year. Our growth is thanks to our United Way partners and our MA governmental contracts and friends. This collaboration has been the key to our success, enabling us to help tens of thousands of individuals and families get the help they need.

Why do you think it’s important for people to volunteer, and what’s your best advice for someone interested in volunteering? Every volunteer role is important to you and to the organization you help. A volunteer role connects you to a community of people, all of whom are “helped” by this partnership. Caring about one another is more important now than ever. I can’t imagine not having my volunteer work.

If you work, can you tell us where and what you do for work? If you are retired, what did you do before? I worked for many years at United Way of Central Mass. Over the years I was involved in many of our Community Services and managed our Volunteer Center and our First Call For Help program (the pre-cursor to Mass211), among other initiatives. I retired in 2005 and now have time for my retirement volunteer career!

How does being on the Mass211 Board help you engage with our local communities and give back? I have learned so much about the extensive network of nonprofit organizations across Massachusetts. During my work at United Way it was an honor to get to know so many of them in Central Massachusetts. Now as a Mass211 Board Member I am proud to be in a position to connect people needing help to these agencies.

What are some of the benefits of being a member of the Mass211 Board? Being on the Mass211 Board has been gratifying in so many ways. I’ve worked with people committed to the 2-1-1 vision and we made it happen. And now it is strong and an important part of our MA service network. If you are on any nonprofit board, it is an opportunity to see a need and do something about it. That feels good.

What do you like to do outside of work? As a retiree I have returned to my art background and now devote some of my energies to the Princeton Arts Society and its Board, shows, activities and communications. Like so many others, I am more than ready to travel!