Volunteer Hero - People's Choice
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Jody Hudson, CTFA, started out as a volunteer at Alzheimer's Orange County and is now in her second year of leading and inspiring the Board as the Board Chair. She has served on dozens of volunteer committees for AlzOC over the years including golf, Visionary Women, Advocacy, Gala, Capital Projects, Finance and more. Jody has a sweet motto: "when I see a need, my heart directs me." Not only is it her motto, but she lives by it--day in and day out. Alzheimer's Orange County is so grateful to have a board chair with such a kindness and a passion for helping others.
Jody isn’t content to support one cause. She has been a Board member and advocate for Goodwill, volunteers regularly at Working Wardrobes, and the Boys and Girls Clubs. Most recently, Jody has become involved at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center both as a donor and volunteer. As always, she networks her extensive circle of friends to also lend a hand.
Jody has relationships with Susan G Komen and the Kiwanis Club and has donated regularly to orphanage projects including Friends of El Faros work in Tijuana and southern Baja.
Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Jody Hudson is the embodiment of selflessness. If you've ever had the honor of speaking with Jody, you can see deep roots within her community through her extensive work within the non-profit sector. She’s always there and willing to lend a helping hand. Not only does she work with each of the aforementioned organizations (and more!), but she really utilizes her contacts to make sure magic can be created in this community.
We asked Jody to tell us how she developed the desire to help people, and in true Jody fashion she inspired us. Jody was raised by a family of philanthropists, especially her mother. Her family wasn’t the most affluent in the neighborhood, but that didn’t stop them from giving back to the community. Jody became her mother’s sidekick while volunteering for anything and everything; she fully embraced the philosophy of giving all the talent and time she could afford to people in need. She says, “She doesn’t know any other way.” And it shows!
Jody attends six to ten events per month on our behalf. She is not only our advocate and champion, she is personally affected and now cares for her father with dementia. Jody’s passion and perseverance in supporting her mother and father during this difficult time is magical to watch. As tough as it can get, Jody is ALWAYS there, always present, and always caring.
She takes it upon herself to introduce everyone she meets to our cause and does so with the kind of enthusiasm that they cannot resist. She is truly our angel.
When Jody vacations, she does so most often in Utah at Condit Farms where she spends her time volunteering at Best Friends Animal Society and the Goat Sanctuary. At least twice a year, Jody heads out to lend this aid.
On a personal level, Jody reaches out to anyone in her world in need of a hand, a hug or help. She always creates photos and plaques for people when a pet passes on. She is the first to acknowledge an anniversary, promotion, illness or life event. Jody gives from her heart in every aspect of her life. She is quite simply, amazing.
Finally, and the dearest to our cause, Alzheimer’s Orange County. Jody’s time as the board chair here has been spent fundraising for the Walk4ALZ, speaking and sponsoring at our annual Gala, supporting our programs and doing so much more. She volunteers at nearly every event: even going as far to dress up like a piñata to support the programs and services. She advocates for Alzheimer’s Orange County on a personal level, making sure that the people in need of support are helped personally by our team. Her good humor and willingness to sacrifice is an inspiration. She understands what it’s like to be a burned out caregiver and makes sure it’s known that we are here to help make this journey as easy as possible.
Jody believes in Alzheimer’s Orange County; she believes in our leadership and staff. She believes that we are here to provide a better life for older adults, caregivers, and families going through this battle. We are so lucky to have her as a part of Alzheimer’s Orange County and we would not be where we are today without her.
Jody gives so much to us, to this community, and it’s time we gave back to her.