Philanthropy in Allen County: Jennifer Kasmier

Philanthropy in Allen County is a short series of features designed to highlight why and how members of the Fort Wayne and surrounding community support nonprofits.  Over the course of the summer, we’ll be featuring responses from different nonprofit professionals, volunteers, employees, and board members to showcase Allen County nonprofits!

Jennifer-Phil Blog
Jennifer Kasmier

Jennifer Kasmier

What nonprofit organizations are you associated with and in which capacities (employee, volunteer, board member, etc.)?

I am the Assistant Executive Director of Wellspring Interfaith Social Services and a Director on the United Way of DeKalb County’s Board.

How did you first become involved with your current organization(s)? 

In 2012, through my education at IPFW (earning my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services), I was privileged to complete a senior level internship working under Mr. Frank Zirille, the Executive Director of Wellspring. Following the completion of my internship, I was offered the opportunity to work at Wellspring gaining valuable experience in each of the direct service programs (Summer Day Camp, After School Program, Older Adult Program, Food Bank, Parent Club and Wellspring Shoppe, free clothing bank) as well as experiences in marketing, fund development, grant writing and methods of evaluation.

Since April of 2015, I have been proud to be the organization’s Assistant Executive Director and I look forward to seeing Wellspring continue to thrive! I joined the Board of Directors for the United Way of DeKalb County in January of 2016. Prior that, I served on the Board of Directors for A Day Away Adult Daycare and Birchwood.

What is your favorite part of the organization(s) you work with? Why?

My favorite part of working at Wellspring is the inspiration I draw from our participants each and every day. Our diverse programs give us the ability to reach people of all ages, abilities, faiths and cultures with numerous varying needs. We have developed a strong culture of delivering our services with dignity and respect and I am so proud to be a part of that initiative.

In addition to our incredible participants, the Wellspring team of staff members, volunteers and our Board of Directors is absolutely “top notch!” This collective group of individuals brings so much richness to our organization with a constant enthusiasm to propel forward operating at our very best.

My favorite part of being a Board member for the United Way of DeKalb County is the opportunity to contribute to the community in which I live. I have lived in Auburn for the past 18 years and I love DeKalb County dearly! It brings me joy to see the United Way partner agencies in action!

What makes working with nonprofits fulfilling for you?

Working and volunteering in a field that is dedicated solely to improving the lives of others is the most honorable way I could imagine spending my time. I am humbled by the extraordinary people I am lucky to meet through my work and Board service. Watching men, women and children working together toward a collective goal of improving themselves and enriching the community is inspiring!

Being able to work at an agency that mirrors my personal values is a true gift. Wellspring expresses five core values through its programming: forgiveness, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness and truthfulness. Who wouldn’t want to work somewhere that actively embodied those beliefs!?!?

What is the coolest thing about the organization(s) you work with?  

As a Board member, the coolest thing about the United Way of DeKalb County is seeing the leadership of the organization in action. Three extremely knowledgeable, talented and hard-working young ladies!

I believe the coolest thing about Wellspring isn’t something I can write about or even something you can see… it is merely a feeling. A sense of home, belonging… family. When I communicate with our interns, staff members, Board of Directors and volunteers, I make it a point to say thank you for being part of our Wellspring family.

I have grown to love the organization and all that it stands for. Through the decades, changes in programs, changes in staff and leadership, Wellspring has remained true to its roots. Anchored in faith, service and family, Wellspring is certain to withstand the test of time. I can sometimes find myself getting emotional thinking about how special I feel being part of the Wellspring legacy and I am and always will be grateful for it.

Anything else you’d like to add?  

A very famous (and very true) quote:
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson


Would you like to be a part of our Philantropy Fort Wayne series? Take this short survey

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