VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

Jeanne Unrue

 

 

My husband, Dean and I were born and raised near Akron, Ohio. We have been married almost 43 years.  His career with General Motors took us to Columbus, OH; Syracuse, NY; Sterling Heights, MI; El Paso, TX and back to Michigan (Rochester Hills) before moving to Naples in the early fall of 2019. 

Dean’s job required long hours and a lot of travel so I was thankful to have a variety of jobs throughout the years that gave me the flexibility to juggle the kids’ schedules and activities as well as all that comes with living out of state from family.  I’ve worked as a hair stylist, make-up artist, kitchen-aid & cook in various school settings. My most recent jobs were as an occupational therapy assistant and babysitter of grandchildren. 

Our four kids are spread out in age as well as geography. Our oldest daughter and her family (including two of our granddaughters) live in El Paso, Texas. The other two daughters (and 2 granddaughters) live in Michigan. Our son and his new wife live in Green Bay, Wisconsin. At this time my husband is working in Pittsburgh. He works from “home” here in Naples for a few weeks every month or so. As with many families, we’re thankful for opportunities when even a few of us can spend time together. We are especially thankful when schedules and logistics work out for the entire family to be together.

My interests and hobbies include reading, sewing, working out, travel, politics, cooking, decorating, having fun and laughing with friends old and new and seeing my bilingual grandkids try not to laugh when I attempt to converse in Spanish.  The last several months I’m especially interested in anything that can possibly be turned into an English lesson. 

I learned of volunteer opportunities Pelican Community Center through Grace Lutheran Church and began volunteering as an English tutor in June of 2021. It has been a great experience and I could have never predicted the level of fulfillment and blessing that I receive each and every class. The students are gracious and appreciative as well as a lot of fun!

I know a few basic Spanish words and phrases, no Haitian Creole and have no formal training as a teacher, but the students have surpluses of determination and patience, great senses of humor, intelligence and camaraderie.  The time flies and everyone learns more and more each class. It’s such a blessing to see their confidence grow as we practice everyday phrases and conversations.