19 Apr Jean S.
Jean Silver first visited Vail Place after a friend suggested she volunteer at the Minneapolis Clubhouse by helping with a holiday meal. That first visit was all it took. Seventeen years later, Jean has become a mainstay within the Clubhouse and the Vail Place organization overall.
Jean can be found at the Minneapolis Clubhouse frequently during the week, spending time with members in the evenings and working in the business department on Tuesdays and Thursdays. For the last three years she has also been involved in orientation for new and prospective Clubhouse members twice a month. In this role, she helps provide information about the Clubhouse model, the history of Vail Place, and other important information.
“The best part of volunteering for Vail Place has been the personal piece of it and the deep relationships I’ve built at the Clubhouse,” Jean says. “It’s been amazing how much we’ve all shared. The members truly live such extraordinary lives, and overcome such huge struggles that it’s quite inspiring.”
Recently Jean has become much more involved with Vail Place as an organization, in addition to her work at the Minneapolis Clubhouse. In 2017 she joined a team of Vail Place staff, members, and volunteers who traveled to South Carolina for Clubhouse training. This training will help prepare Jean for her new role as part of the recently introduced Vail Place advisory council, where she will help provide direction and new ideas for the organization.
“Jean’s participation at Vail Place is really all-around,” says Vicky Couillard, Executive Director for Vail Place. She is a delight to work with, and brings a wonderful energy and positive attitude to everything she touches. We are very lucky to have been graced by Jean’s presence.”
Perhaps one of the biggest things Jean is known for at Vail Place is her captainship of the annual Garage Sale. Each year, Jean spends countless hours preparing for the sale with members and staff, which will be held this year on Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th.
Jean loves being at Vail Place and helping out in any capacity. “I love working with members and staff and I’m so thankful to have Vail Place in my life. I walk in there with a smile on my face every time,” she says. “It’s just family to me. It really is.”