Meet Center Volunteer Jay Schuette


As a volunteer, I’ve done everything from stuffing envelopes to working at many of the Center’s events. Every one of these experiences was satisfying in the way that I had originally intended when I first started volunteering: I had in my mind a notion of being a positive pebble dropped into a community pond, and outwardly, in all directions, go good ripples.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been making phone calls to LGBT seniors four or five days a week as part of the Center’s Hello Club program.

Sometimes, folks are doing quite well and it’s just a check-in conversation. Other times, someone is greatly in need of either food or resources, or someone who is quite isolated and just needs to talk to someone who cares. These are the times that your positive pebble in the community pond feels more like a lifeline.

The rudder I try to keep on every call is this: Who would I want calling my mom or dad? How would I want them to be, and sound, over the phone? Every conversation I have, whether it’s jaunty and light, or heavy or sad, feels like an honor. I get to help people. I get the opportunity to be the bright spot in somebody’s dark day. I get to be both that and a pebble in the pond.

Hometown: Oxford, Ohio

Year Started Volunteering at Center: 2017

Volunteer Positions: Senior Services, Special Events

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