At 85 years of age, Judy Koucky has plenty to be thankful for. That includes her good health, stable housing, and access to necessary services. Yet, Judy finds herself most thankful for the ability to continuously “provide care to those in need.” Her history of service is no more apparent than in her time with Fellowship Square, where she has been involved with the organization for over 36 years.
Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Judy moved to the Washington DC area in 1974, and worked as an archivist with the National Archives and Records Administration. She was first exposed to Fellowship Square by a fellow corporate member and has been active in supporting their mission to provide affordable housing for seniors ever since. Judy has served the organization in multiple roles, as a corporate member, volunteer, and secretary of the Board of Directors.
A lasting impression of her time on the board is the relationship she developed with Dr. John Scherzer (1901-1994), the founder, and first President of Fellowship Square. Judy alludes to the charitable spirit she observed in Dr. Scherzer, as he “would always focus upon the specific needs of the community he lived in.” She remembers Dr. Scherzer as a man with a knack for community engagement, who always employed the help of others in solving societal issues.
And while Dr. Scherzer is no longer with us today, Judy Koucky has witnessed his legacy blossom within Fellowship Square. When asked about the changes she has observed over her years with the organization, Judy speaks to the community-centric innovations that would make Dr. Scherzer proud. This includes reaching out to new community partners, hosting more social gatherings, and implementing a Resident Life Director who designs resident programming and ensures that a consistent model of service is offered throughout each Fellowship Square property. Judy has also come to appreciate the rise of online fundraising. She recognizes that people can be both generous and spontaneous in their giving and has found that online donations offer a great source of funding apart from the traditional year-end fundraiser.
Judy’s work alongside Fellowship Square’s founder speaks to her enduring commitment of service. Yet, she also offers advice to the next generation of those looking to become involved with the organization. She wants younger folks to first develop their own understanding of Fellowship Square and the issues it solves, because the “initiative to help has to come from someone engaged.” She encourages those interested to seek volunteer opportunities for both long- and short-term projects, to become further acquainted with the organization’s work. Finally, Judy encourages board membership for the most committed supporters, as financial support is expected from those serving in such roles. There is no single, best avenue for involvement with Fellowship Square, but Judy observed that the strongest relationships were developed through mutual trust between the individual and organization.
Fellowship Square is grateful to keep Judy Koucky as a trusted advocate and is more than thankful for her countless years of service. With the help of supporters like Judy, Fellowship Square is able to develop communities with safe, affordable, and quality housing and a continuum of services for older adults.