Judie Holcomb-Pack: called to volunteer

Judie Holcomb-Pack

Judie Holcomb-Pack: called to volunteer
April 25
00:10 2019

By Bridget Elam

For some, volunteering is a duty; but for others it’s a calling. Those who are called to volunteer often go above and beyond to help further a cause or organization. We have one such volunteer at The Chronicle in Judie Holcomb-Pack.  Judie can be categorized as a career volunteer.

Judie, a Winston-Salem native, grew up in a family that placed an emphasis on helping others in the community. For her, this instilled a sense of service and solidified “the call” to volunteer. 

With her older sister’s encouragement, Judie became a candy stripper at Baptist Hospital, despite the fact she had a fear of the sight of blood. That lasted only a few days, but that was long enough … she was well on her way to becoming a career volunteer.

When asked about her most rewarding aspect of volunteering, she replied, “I label myself as an encourager and a people connecter. So, when I can connect someone to another person where they can have a good relationship or learn from each other or help each other, that brings me a lot of pleasure. A lot of people have come back to thank me.”

She also weighed in on what annoys her about volunteering.  “I don’t like it when organizations do not show appreciation for their volunteers. And when they aren’t organized.

“Organizations should be well-structured,” she said. “I’m not going to waste my time propping up an organization just to see it fall by the wayside. I carefully select the organizations I volunteer with. When I’m a part of something, that’s my reputation, too,” she added. 

In addition to working at The Chronicle as a writer and editor, Judie serves on the board of Winston-Salem Writers, HIPSS (Health Industry Professionals Serving Seniors), Senior Games/SilverArts committee where she organizes the judging for the literary competition, and the Vital Living committee at the Shepherd’s Center. She just finished a term as a board member for 40 + Stage Company, is also a member of our local AARP chapter and has just joined the community engagement council of Age-Friendly Forsyth. Judie has also been a volunteer for the National Black Theatre Festival since 1993 and RiverRun International Film Festival for about four years.

She credits her organizational skills as a key factor to getting it all done. “I have to be extremely organized. I am pretty good at juggling to get everything done. My biggest detriment is I don’t give myself a lot of me time,” she said. 

Judie’s passion is fighting ageism, supporting older adults, and telling their stories through For Seniors Only. She says, “I want to encourage everyone to write, whether it’s poetry, short stories or memoirs. We all have stories inside us just waiting for us to set them free.”

In her spare time, Judie enjoys having coffee with friends, reading and writing. She is currently working on a short story now that is a continuation of the story she won a gold medal for at the State Senior Games a few years ago.

Judie was married to Tony Pack for 28 years until his passing in 2018. She has one son, two stepchildren and five grandchildren. 

Judie thinks everyone should volunteer and offers some advice for those looking to volunteer.

“Be sure to find a place that meets your passion. Don’t do it just because you see something in the newspaper or because your friends are doing it. It’s got to be your passion, otherwise it will turn into work.”

What makes her personally called to volunteer can be summed up in her own words: “I just get joy out of helping people.”

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