Note: We recently interviewed Amber Forrence, a past Jayme’s Fund for Social Justice intern. Read more to learn about the work she did with Jayme’s Fund, the work she continues to do with the foundation, and the effect it has had on her since.
Hi! My name is Amber Forrence, and I live in Windham, New Hampshire. My first experience with Jayme’s Fund was as an intern in 2019 through Southern New Hampshire University’s work-study program. I was studying psychology there, which went hand in hand with my internship but also showed me different opportunities I could consider.
As the Lead Volunteer for Jayme’s Fund for three years, I began by assisting with administrative tasks. Later my work included creating Jayme’s bears, planning events, and the different fundraising initiatives.
Jayme’s Bears definitely brought everything full circle for me. I worked on a delivery of bears to the Jimmy Fund clinic, driving through Boston traffic with Caren. The Jimmy Fund treats pediatric oncology patients. I was pursuing a career in child life psychology at the time, and while on the delivery, I was introduced to the child life specialist, who shared more details about the summer internship they had available there. That led to me getting the internship!
So, I completed the internship, and I fell in love with the work, but I realized it wasn’t the right timing for me. I’d need a master’s degree for on-site psychology there. I decided to go the fundraising route instead after completing my bachelor’s degree, and thankfully I landed a position at the Jimmy Fund in fundraising after graduating!
I began in the role of assistant, and I’ve since been promoted to an officer of event fundraising. I plan our fundraising events and manage a pool of donors. I can carry what I learned at Jayme’s Fund into the Jimmy Fund work. My work with Jayme’s Fund really propelled me into the career I have today, which is still nonprofit fundraising, but with a larger organization, so I’ve been able to take those skills from Jayme’s Fund and apply them to my work now.
I also had a “small world” moment recently where I was introduced to a long-time Jimmy Fund volunteer, only to realize I already knew her as a Jayme’s Fund volunteer (she was an elementary school teacher of Jayme’s) who had sewed bears for us. (Hi, Joanne Curry!)
I’ve continued to stay involved with Jayme’s Fund since my internship, helping with email blasts and social media along the way as well as events like the walk. I also assisted with the transitions that were needed due to COVID to keep Jayme’s Fund’s mission alive.
I think of Jayme’s Fund as a nonprofit that puts forward their best effort into making sure that every human, every child, every person has the platform they need to grow and be the best version of themselves, now and into the future. I think the way Jayme always fought the injustices of the world and fought for the rights of everyone is something I always connected with and that fuels my passion for the work, whether writing a donor letter or putting together a bear event. Everything ties back to what Jayme’s mission and passion for life was.
I continue to support Jayme’s Fund because of the community that’s come together to support and celebrate Jayme’s memory. It’s an incredible group of people who stand behind a mission that they all care about and a memory of someone who was important in their lives. Although I didn’t know Jayme, I feel just as passionate towards it.
I feel the Jayme’s Scholars every year exhibit the same passion Jayme had. They and all of the Jayme’s fund volunteers give off an energy that’s community-serving rather than self-focused.
Note from Jayme’s Fund: Thank you so much for sharing your story and for all of your support of Jayme’s Fund, Amber! We are so grateful for all you’ve done and the ways you continue to be involved, contributing to our mission, and all that you do every day, and in every way, just by being you, to make the world a better place.
Want to learn more about Amber and stay connected? You can find her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amber-forrence-169781a3/
Photo description: Image #1: A white woman with blonde hair holds a red sports jersey labeled Jimmy Fund, smiling with an athletic facility visible behind her. Image #2: A white woman with blonde hair holds one of Jayme’s Bears completed in her left hand. In her right is the beginnings of a bear, outlined in fleece.