“Volunteers don’t necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” This is certainly true of volunteer Sue Hill, who has been of service to Family Promise almost since its inception, (as the Interreligious Fellowship for the Homeless). Sue has done it all and gives of herself wherever needed to tasks both big and small. Sue laughingly describes herself as the volunteer who is “always underfoot”. And what a blessing that is!
Sue moved to New Jersey in 1987 and quickly became involved through her synagogue, Temple Israel of Ridgewood. Sue would make breakfasts and lunches for homeless individuals being sheltered in the Temple, eventually overseeing the Overflow Shelter Program there. After meeting former Executive Director, Marsha Mackey, Sue deepened her commitment to the organization, spearheading the very first Gala in 2006.
Sue went on to serve on the Board of Trustees and the Executive Board of the IRF for several years. And when the Overflow program ended, she brought Temple Israel on board with the Walk-In Dinner Program, then on Orchard Street in Hackensack. To this day, Sue shops, cooks, and helps to organize that meal four times a year and will always pitch in to assist another group. “Being a volunteer is the best”, she says. “I just want to be helpful”.
Though family obligations forced her to lessen the load for many years, Sue has never stopped volunteering for Family Promise and advocating for the homeless. She credits her mother who was very philanthropic and who instilled in her that “people shouldn’t go hungry” and that “if someone needs a place to sleep, you help them.” Through the years it’s been a family affair, with husband Les graciously donating his time to our events as well.
Jane He, Director of Development, states “Sue is an essential member of the Family Promise fund development team, and we simply could not manage our annual fundraising events without her. She always thinks one step ahead and is positive, energetic, and a creative thinker, not to mention a pleasure to work with!” Today, Sue can be found wherever and whenever there is a need, from working on every event and creating the magnificent baskets at each year’s Gala to organizing the supply closets, answering phones, and putting up holiday decorations.
Margo Heller, Director of Volunteers, notes “Sue is dedicated, resourceful, creative, organized, and always says yes. And she is long overdue for this recognition of her time and her many talents”.
Thank you, Sue, from all of us at Family Promise, past and present.