Nancy Juda, Investor and Activist
Nancy Juda has been a committed Hunger Project investor since 1984 and an empowered activist since 2002. As an activist, Nancy raises money for The Hunger Project (THP) and stewards the investor community in Chicago, where she currently lives.
Nancy grew up in Missouri, where her passion for philanthropic outreach and volunteerism began at a young age, instilled in her by her step-mother, Peggy.
"She believed that the privilege she was born into brought with it the responsibility and the opportunity to work for the greater good. Everyone knew that an encounter with Peggy would likely include an invitation to volunteer or a request for money. She was quirky and eccentric, but everyone - other community leaders, neighbors, and the people in need that she championed - knew her, loved her, and admired her."
Nancy's investment in THP brought her face to face with her partners in the global community while on an Investor Leadership Trip to Senegal in 2004. There, she had the opportunity to connect, learn and appreciate the other trip participants and the work of THP. Nancy recalls one woman by whom she was particularly inspired:
"She was quite a character, dressed in golden and bronze colored fabrics...Rather than applauding, she led spontaneous singing and dancing after a speaker said something that she liked. Hers, and subsequently the audience's, was the most unbridled and joyful expression of appreciation I have ever witnessed. I realized how stingy I had always been when expressing appreciation or delight and decided to let her be my guide from then on."
Drawing on the strength of her THP partners to overcome resignation and effect change in their communities as well as THP's focus on empowering local leadership, Nancy has in turn taken on the responsibility of bettering her own community. Seeing a significant lack of commitment to sound environmental action within her local community, Nancy began investing her time in making a positive difference. She petitioned her condo board to create the first non-board committee, now known as the Green Initiative.
"We have been working for a year and a half on educating and supporting people to take action personally and on impacting building-wide systems to make our community more environmentally responsible and sustainable. For much of the first year it seemed like a ridiculously uphill battle to impact the culture here in even minor ways. In the last few months I can see that the conversations and the actions that are being taken are starting to flourish and have a life of their own. Even those who had considered our efforts to be unimportant or disruptive now look for ‘green' alternatives."
Nancy's passion for the betterment of the world around her is truly inspirational and we here at THP are grateful to her and her family for their continued investment and activism.
"Participating with THP allowed me to develop as a philanthropist and an activist...I am participating in partnerships that would not have been available to me otherwise. Together we are creating the world of my dreams."
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