RINGWOOD, N.J. – Anne Moore Siebecker of Ringwood has long been a casual volunteer – participating in Earth Day cleanups and weeding library shelves.
But then she lost her corporate communications job, her father passed away and she became a full-time caretaker to her ill mother.
Volunteering in turn took on a whole new meaning for the Ridgewood native, who felt compelled to rediscover herself.
“It was a time for me of ‘What is my life going to be? What am I going to be about?’” Siebecker told Daily Voice.
“I was thinking, ‘Well I can’t get a job, but I can do volunteer work, because that is sort of within my control to set how much I can do.'"
So she started volunteering – a lot.
Siebecker is now a trustee for the New Weis Center for Education, Arts & Recreation, where she manages volunteers, mentors interns, creates partnerships and develops programs, among other responsibilities.
She also serves as a Ringwood Environmental Commissioner, is a trustee for the borough library, and a volunteer for the Friends of the Library and the nonprofit that runs the borough’s farmers market.
Her efforts were recently recognized when she received the New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Award for public service for her work in environmental stewardship. Siebecker was given the award during a ceremony in Newark, and then represented the state during the Jefferson Awards Foundation's national ceremony in Washington, D.C., where she spoke in front of about 500 people. The foundation is the nation’s longest-standing organization dedicated to celebrating public service.
After both of Siebecker’s beloved parents passed away within 9 months of each other in 2015, she said she was “glad to have done as much outreach to get involved as I did.”
“Maybe I knew the day was coming where I wouldn’t have my parents, and I wanted to feel connected to the community I loved so much,” she added.
Siebecker is now on a mission to inspire others to volunteer within their communities.
“There are many reasons to get involved. It can be a personal situation. It could be that you are happy about your community. You want to meet people,” she said.
She said, “the journey for me came during a really tough time in my life,” and she is proud to be able to dedicate her Jefferson Award to her parents, Marleigh Moore Siebecker and Walter Louis Siebecker.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am if they hadn’t given me everything they gave me," she said.
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