Board member Lisa Spreacker is a Clinical Database Testing Lead for Covance Central Laboratories, and sits on the JMF Board of Directors with her husband, Tom. She’s a lover of reading, quilting, and traveling – and JMF! Keep reading to hear the stories of impact that she has seen over her years with the Foundation:

How long have you been a board member, and why did you join JMF’s Board of Directors?

I have shared a board member position with my husband for two years. My family has been involved with JMF either on the board, or as a Junior Board member, Joseph Maley Friends puppeteer, or as a participant in JMF programming at St. Monica Catholic School for many years. I have seen the effect JMF has on children, including my own, for many years. As our youngest was getting ready to graduate from high school, I felt like it was time to pursue some of my interests, and JMF, with their mission and purpose, was the first organization I wanted to invest my time in. JMF serves not only the child, but the family as well. 

Why does JMF and its mission matter to YOU?

We all need to be better educated to understand that each individual has basic similarities: the same wants, dreams, and goals. That we were all given different abilities, but we are all still human. That we should all have the same opportunities regardless of our abilities. I have also experienced, first-hand, the impact that disABILITY Awareness and JMF has on students. It is eye-opening to the students when they “try-on” disabilities. I believe in this message and I think that the Joseph Maley Foundation embodies this message.   

What image comes to mind when you think of JMF?

Love and children.

Do you have a favorite JMF Program? Why?

Joseph Maley Friends. The puppets and skits are a great way to reach everyone from kindergartners to adults. Seeing the skits and allowing the students to ask questions helps promote understanding and acceptance. What better way to bring about change in people’s lives? Our son was a puppeteer. He had such a great experience with his puppet, Mark.  

What do you want others to know about JMF?

If you want to volunteer with an organization that is making a difference in families lives – JMF is it. All you need to do is attend or volunteer for an event and it is clear: everything they do is with a servant’s heart.   

Finally, this is our Year of Stories. What is your favorite JMF story?

Our son volunteered to help with the Joseph Maley Fitness adaptive swimming sessions. He was paired with a young boy who didn’t want to get in the water. He wanted to walk around, so our son walked around with him. I remember asking our son how the session went, and what he did. He would smile and say we talked about getting in the water but walked around. Toward the end of the classes he came home very excited and told me they had gotten into the water that day! That was a great accomplishment for our son, and for the young boy and his family. JMF not only plants the seeds for success in program participants, but in each volunteer as well. I have seen our children take what they have learned from their JMF experiences and apply them in their own elementary schools, high schools, and now at college.