Crafting Meaningful Experiences at Renterpieces

March 29, 2022

Crafting Meaningful Experiences at Renterpieces

Nancy Shapiro and her husband moved to Atlanta about two years ago to be closer to family. Having lived in or around Long Island for her entire life, Nancy said she was initially nervous about starting afresh somewhere new, even with family.

Recently, a friend took Nancy to a JF&CS Day of Volunteering event, and she learned about volunteer opportunities with our Renterpieces Program. The Renterpieces program at JF&CS offers people the opportunity to rent beautiful centerpieces for different events, which can be customized to different color themes. All the money from the program benefits the JF&CS Kosher Food Pantry, which helps hundreds of people a week facing food insecurity in the Atlanta area.

“I wanted to do what I can for JF&CS, because they seem to be an excellent organization,” Nancy said. “It seems like the type of place where I can meet good people and make new friends, all while giving back to the community.”

Though Nancy has not been volunteering with Renterpieces for very long, she is already enjoying herself. She comes in almost every Monday to help out in what she calls “the basket room.” She and one or two other volunteers help swap out the ribbons and other decorative accents on the baskets to match the colors and themes desired by the renters.

"I am not crafty, but I can follow directions,” Nancy joked. “And I am happy for the opportunity to turn the pieces into something that people are proud to have at their event.”

Kim Seabolt, the Renterpieces Coordinator, said that Nancy puts "care, thoughtfulness, and creativity into each centerpiece and bimah basket."

"On day one, Nancy did a wonderful job at decorating two sports bimah baskets with red, black, and gold ribbons for a bar mitzvah at Temple Emanu-El," Kim said. "She created lovely floral arrangements and centerpieces for a bar mitzvah at Temple Beth Tikvah. Not only is Nancy creative and helpful, she is also a delightful person to work with. We are lucky to have her."

Nancy is an accountant by trade, and recently retired. Though she always wanted to, the demands of her career didn’t leave her much time for volunteering. Nancy said she is “charitable in her own way,” and throughout her life, always tries to help out friends and strangers wherever she could.

"I was looking for the perfect opportunity and time so start volunteering, and JF&CS seemed like the place,” Nancy said. “When it comes to volunteering, it’s better to start late than to start never!”

When she isn’t volunteering, Nancy enjoys spending time with her daughter, her mother, and her two young granddaughters. She said that she “loves” the city of Atlanta, and recently went to the zoo for the first time with her family. Nancy also enjoys walking, playing Mah Jong, and learning more about Atlanta from the friends she has made and from the other volunteers at Renterpieces.

Nancy said she was touched by the mission of the JF&CS Kosher Food Pantry, and hopes to be able to do more volunteer work with them in the future: “When people ask for help, it isn't for a handout. They ask for help because they need it. And I’m happy to be a part of an organization that helps people who need it.”

Interested in learning more about volunteering with The Kosher Food Pantry or elsewhere at JF&CS? We have programs and areas for all types of people and talents to volunteer with. You can learn more about our volunteer opportunities here. To learn more about the Kosher Food Pantry, Renterpieces, and other support services we offer the community, click here.