YONKERS, N.Y. – Jean Tickell’s ties to her charitable efforts in Yonkers can be traced back to her parents. Her mother and father have long-standing affiliations with two groups in which the Realtor with Better Homes & Gardens, Rand Realty is involved.
“My family has always been big about community,’’ said Tickell, a Realtor since 1998. “It makes a difference when you do little things.”
Tickell is currently the dinner chairman for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Her father, Larry McCrudden, has been on the parade committee since it started 58 years ago. He is now the parade chairman.
“I was licking envelopes and putting stamps on them since I was a little girl,’’ Tickell said. “Every year he’d tell me the same thing. He said he would pay me twice as much as the year before. Of course, he wasn’t paying me anything.”
She also helps with an organization called The Great Birthday Caper, a group started by her mother. The group collects toys, clothing and other gifts for children at Andrus Children’s Home in Yonkers, St. Christopher’s, Inc. and The Children’s Village in Dobbs Ferry. Tickell’s mother started the organization after the family read a story about Christmas presents being stolen from a Toys for Tots location.
“Christmas comes once a year, but these kids are handling tough situations the other 364 days a year, too,’’ Tickell said. “Now we get something for about 200 kids every year for their birthday. We try to keep the same sponsor with the child for as long we can. For a lot of these kids, their parents don’t remember their birthdays or can’t afford to get them anything.”
The Great Birthday Caper delivers gifts for children ages 5-21. Workers at the residences where the children live deliver the gifts. “Just knowing that we able to do something to help them is fine with me,’’ Tickell said. “They’ll see me coming and they know it’s the ‘Birthday Lady.’ I’ve been doing it for 20 years. Again, it was something that I was born into.”
Tickell is a lifelong resident of Yonkers, and her family has deep community ties. Her grandfather, James McCrudden, was the head of the Yonkers Recreation Commission for 44 years. The Parks Department Building is named after him.
Her real estate career began in 1998, and she received top sales awards from the Westchester County Board of Realtors every year since 2000. Especially with her volunteer pursuits, Tickell enjoys the flexibility that comes with the job. She also devotes time to family activities with her husband, Cammie, and 7-year-old son, Jack.
“It is very flexible, but I do work 24/7,’’ she said. “It helps that I’m able to run out and do some things during the day. But even so, there are days where I just can’t get away and I’ll get to my volunteer positions late. I hope to keep doing real estate and my volunteer activities as long as I can. It’s something I really enjoy.”