Name: Jennifer Martinez
Birthplace: West Palm Beach
Family: Husband, Gil; daughters, Madison and Annabelle
Career: President of JLM Communications, a public relations, marketing and event planning firm
Organization: The American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk
How long have you been volunteering there?
Why do you volunteer?
As a recent breast cancer survivor, it was important for me to spread the word about the disease and work to help others battling it.
Describe your volunteer role.
I serve as the publicity chair for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. The event takes place Oct. 18 in downtown West Palm Beach. I am working to create awareness, assist in bringing in teams and sponsorships and secure media coverage for the event.
What are your goals when you volunteer?
Spreading the word. For any disease, it is especially important to create awareness. If no one talks about it, no one knows. Having just gone through battling the disease, it is was helpful to me to have others to talk to who have experienced the same things, and to be able to ask questions, read stories and learn about others. If I can help others who are early in the battle, then I will have met my goals.
What does your organization need?
The [walk] is now recruiting teams and sponsors. The more people who join, the more awareness and money we can raise. There was a time, not too long ago, that there was no cure for breast cancer and minimal treatment options. Thanks to the work of so many, we are able to continue to fund research and are finding cures. Hopefully, one day breast cancer — or any cancer, for that matter — won't even be in existence.
Is there a moment that stands out that made you think, "This is why I volunteer?"
The outpouring of support that came when I decided to volunteer was incredible. Friends, family, clients — there were so many people who wanted to volunteer with me to make a difference. It showed me how truly loved I am and what wonderful people I have around me. Together, we will all make a difference.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would just like to encourage others to do what they can. I know that sometimes the thought of volunteering is overwhelming. It doesn't matter how much time or money you spend doing it. It is the difference you make when you are doing it. Five minutes of time can seem like the world to someone in need.
For more information, visit Makingstrideswalk.org/palmbeachfl.
If you know a Palm Beach County resident who deserves recognition for volunteer work, email the information to email@example.com. Nominations should include volunteer's name, city of residence, a contact name and phone number, and a brief description of why this person deserves special recognition.