For Jeanne Wright, the drive to help others started when she was a child.
“I grew up with parents who helped others – through the church, the Boy Scouts, neighbors, PTA, elderly – and that ‘value’ was instilled in me,” Wright said. “By their examples, I learned that giving of my time and helping others was just a way of life – it’s what our beliefs tell us to do.”
She’s spent more than two decades volunteering with children’s bereavement support groups and helping out with camps, events and fundraisers for Hosparus, a hospice center. Every Tuesday night, she facilitates a children’s cancer support group through Gilda’s Club Louisville, an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community that offers free services to patients and families affected by cancer. She provides school supplies, donations, and sends 150 kids a birthday card each year through Uspiritus, an organization that cares for children. She volunteers with the Swiss Ladies’ Society and the Gruetli Helvetia Society (a Swiss club to which her husband, Michael, belongs).
When LG&E and KU Energy ask for volunteers for the Day of Caring, Light Up Louisville parade, Operation Backpack and River Sweep, Wright is there to support her company and co-workers.
“When I’m wearing the T-shirt that says I’m from LG&E and KU Energy and I’m doing community service, I’m letting our customers see that the company supports giving back to the community. As an employee, what I do on and off the job reflects the company – and I want people to know that LG&E and KU Energy is a great company.”
Every time Wright adds her name to a sign-up sheet for volunteers, she also pencils in Michael’s name.
“My husband of 27 years always volunteers with me,” she said. “It strengthens our relationship because we are living and practicing our values and beliefs together.”
Through volunteering, Wright said she’s met some amazing people who are battling cancer. Their love, courage and hope influence her and remind her of what’s important in life.
One of the moments that stuck with her is when a woman recognized Wright at a recent function. Ten years earlier the woman’s daughter had attended Hosparus’ bereavement support groups after the girl’s father had died. The mother thanked Wright for helping her daughter work through a very difficult time. “That day was memorable and rewarding, knowing that I made a difference in that child’s life – a child who is now an adult and studying to be an oncology nurse.”