After moving to Memphis from the Midwest, Jeri Stichka knew she wanted to be a volunteer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Beginning as an Elephant Keeper in August 2017, she volunteered at Target House in the arts and crafts room helping children express their creativity.
Stichka currently serves as a pantry volunteer at Target House, and has been involved in other special opportunities as a volunteer. As a pantry volunteer, Stichka fills baskets with food and toiletry supplies that families need during their stay at Target House.
Stichka said she volunteered for the unveiling of the newly renovated dining room, designed by Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of cable TV’s “Fixer Upper.”
“It was fun to see them interact with the families, and what a great opportunity to give back with the fundraiser they put together for St. Jude,” Stichka said.
For Stichka, the resilience of the children living at Target House inspires her to live each day to its fullest.
“I am amazed at the children that are staying at Target House. If they are able to, they want to help out, even if they aren’t feeling well,” Stichka said. “It is not uncommon for the children to want to carry their pantry baskets for their parents, and older children will hold doors to help on delivery day. Their tenacity and strength is inspiring.”
Stichka described the volunteers and staff at Target House as a great team to work with.
“I love getting the opportunity to interact with the children and families,” Stichka said. “I truly enjoy seeing all the staff and volunteers each week, and helping the families is a true blessing. The staff at Target House have a true passion for helping others, and it is a joy to get the opportunity to be a part of that.”
Stichka volunteers regularly through her line of work, specifically, the A Rise To Read Program. She said outside of volunteering, she enjoys trips back to the Midwest to visit family and friends.