Board member, Stacie Hernandez, mother of four and an educator at St. Monica Catholic School, has been a supporter of the Joseph Maley Foundation since its inception. She and her family have spent years volunteering and advocating for the Foundation. Keep reading to learn how JMF has impacted Stacie and her family over the years, and why she continues to come back as a board member, year after year.

You were one of the first disABILITY Awareness volunteers, from when the program was just beginning. Can you speak to this experience, and how you’ve seen the program change over the years?

I’ve been proud to be involved in the Foundation from its very beginning. We started with a mission to help children recognize that all people have value and deserve respect, including those that have different abilities. That has been the basis for the variety of programs that JMF has offered over the years. I’m continually amazed at the breadth and reach of our programs these days. We impact the lives of thousands of children each year.

The 11th annual Run, Walk, Roll is coming up on July 20! You and your family have volunteered at every single Run, Walk, Roll over the years – what’s your favorite part of volunteering for this event?

I love being involved in the check-in process and meeting all the people who join us for the event.  My favorite, though, is being among the first few on the track in the early morning hours. We work together to set everything up, and there’s a wonderful feeling of family that comes with it.

What do you most look forward to for JMF in 2019, and the decade to come?

I look forward to being involved in the preparation for the Butterfly Ball again this year. It was so fun and successful last year, and I hope we can be as successful this year!

JMF runs on the idea of “family-first”, how has your family been involved in JMF?

All four of my boys have been involved in the JMF Junior Board in various roles. Alfie and I have both served in several committees and on the Board of Directors. We’ve attended many events and encouraged our extended family to become involved in JMF, including Cory Hernandez, the Joseph Maley Fitness Manager.

This is our year of stories – what’s your favorite JMF story?

The first JMF Run, Walk, Roll  was a beautiful day at Eagle Creek, and our family, all six of us, participated from set up to clean up. As the event came to a close, the weather changed drastically. It began pouring sheets of rain while we were trying to take down tents, load boxes, and get out. We finally got it all into cars to take back to the Maley house. Everyone was laughing and everything was soaking wet…including all the people!  

What is your personal “why JMF”?

I’ve seen first-hand the impact the programs at JMF can have. My sons have all been on the Junior Board. I’ve purchased a Love Remains bag for a close friend who experienced a miscarriage. I’ve taught disABILITY Awareness to ten years of my classes. We’ve helped with Joseph Maley Fitness in a variety of ways.  Being involved in JMF is one way I can try to be a positive change in the world now – and for future generations.