JMF board member, Lisa Kayes, is a former elementary school teacher with a love for cooking, traveling, and historical fiction. Lisa has been witness to the Joseph Maley Foundation’s inception and continued growth, and is passionate about the work that JMF is doing in the central Indiana community.

Why did you join JMF’s board of directors?

I spent many years on the sidelines as my husband served on the board. I witnessed JMF from its inception and watched as it grew and grew into the amazing Foundation it has become. I was honored to be asked to join the Board of Directors and felt like I could contribute to the organization.

What does the mission “serving children of ALL abilities” mean to you?

JMF’s mission means many things to me. My husband, Kos, has taught me so much about the disability community. It is easy for us to go about our lives and not realize the challenges that others may face on a daily basis. He has amazing love and compassion for children and their special situations. Many of his patients have disabilities and his focus is to make their lives better. JMF has that same focus. I feel that one way I can serve children of all abilities is to educate our community. JMF’s programs not only give children ways to participate in activities we all take for granted, but we educate others for acceptance and respect for those who are different from ourselves.

This year, you’ve sat on JMF’s Vision Planning Committee. Can you speak to this experience, and what you’re most excited about for JMF’s future?

Sitting on the JMF Vision Planning Committee has been an eye-opening experience. I have enjoyed sitting around a table with amazing people and discussing the grassroots of JMF.  It has helped me to zero in on what JMF is and what it should become. We have focused on our mission statement and core values. We have identified our strengths and weaknesses. We have exciting plans on where we see JMF in the future.

What is something about JMF that you think is unique?

JMF is family. In a world that can be self-centered and self-serving, it is unique to have a group of people that come together and become a family, and who care about not only one another, but about the lives of those we serve as well.

What image comes to mind when you think of JMF?

The image of smiling and laughing children is what I see when I think of JMF

Finally, this is our year of stories – what’s your favorite JMF story?

I met a young man at the JMF’s 2018 Holiday Open House who spoke for the Joseph Maley disABILITY Awareness program. He had sustained a traumatic brain injury from a car accident, and from that point on his life had been altered. His perseverance and positivity were awe-inspiring. I learned from him that one of JMF’s staff members had met him at the voting polls and invited him to speak for JMF.