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Yesterday…12/8/2020, To Jan

After 24 years of bringing her whole self to work at United Way of Jackson County, Jan Sanderson Taylor retired.  I wanted to write this yesterday but quite honestly I cried too hard.  Jan is the first person I hired to work here.  She had previously served as head of Camp Fire Boys & Girls, led a small business, headed a family of three children and lost one child.

Jan TaylorWe partnered on so many projects over 24 years together and created positive community change!  She will be deeply missed not just by me.  She’ll be missed by hundreds of volunteers and all our staff.  She had profound accomplishments in her time at United Way including Project Community Connect, COAD, Consortium, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) and more.  We changed how we funded programs together, introduced equity into our process years ago.  She built relationships with everyone she met and was able to hold space for the hard conversations.

And then there’s the real life stuff.  We both lost loved ones over this time; we lost personal relationships and created new ones.  We held on to each other in times of great sorrow and great joy.

And last night as I was choking back tears walking her to her car, I remembered the most important lesson in life that we’re all just walking each other home.  So glad to have shared this walk with her.

PS – If you think she can actually retire from helping people in need, you don’t know her well enough.  She’ll still be volunteering for COAD and for Consortium.  Be lucky enough to walk with her.