It takes a village to keep the Boys and Girls Clubs up and running every year. They offer hundreds of kids in the Baltimore area a safe place to go. Even though this organization helps kids in need, it gives back so much more to those who choose to get involved like board member, Jill Wiechert.
"From that day I asked her to get involved and she said absolutely," said Boys & Girls Club President & CEO, Kenneth Darren. "She was just ready to jump right in with both feet without hesitation."
For Darden, Wiechert has been one of his go-to people. She helps with whatever the organization needs.
Behind the smiles and laughter she brings every time she's at one of the clubs, lies unbelievable strength.
"I'm actually a 15-year breast cancer survivor," said Wiechert. "Everything was great and then recently had another health scare."
Last September, Wiechert had a proactive hysterectomy. Unfortunately, she received news she didn't want to hear. Doctors found cancer for the second time. While battling cancer she was still helping whenever she could at the organization. Giving her all to the club. But she says the kids have given her so much more in return.
"I get as much from them as they get from me," said Wiechert. "Everybody feels good doing something for somebody so I think I'm giving but they also give back too."
Thankfully, doctors found the cancer early. Wiechert says her prognosis is great and the club couldn't be more excited.
"Having someone like Jill who just kind of was just committed from day one, who understood what it meant to work hard on behalf of the children of Baltimore, what the needs were, what the challenges are, and that they need people to be there and fight for them, she was willing to do that," said Darden.
For the kids at the organization, Wiechert is willing to do whatever she can. Knowing that at the end of the day she's really made a difference.
"When you do go out to the clubs, you're so energized," said Wiechert. "It's easy to sit behind the desk and raise money and do things like that, but when you do go out to the clubs you really feel the passion and it kind of re-energizes you to do the work that we do."
Wiechert said it was a speech she heard years ago that really inspired her to want to give back. The speaker said it doesn't matter what you do, you need to give back to your community. He called it a civic duty. Wiechert said those words really touched her and now she hopes her story can inspire others to give back no matter what they're going through.