Published On: Fri, Feb 1st, 2019

Meet Glorida Wank – Super Volunteer Extraordinaire

By: Jay Van Vechten

There are volunteers and then there are super volunteers, people who give of themselves like their life depended on it. Where does that drive come from? Why are some men and women so eager to help, so anxious to be involved, so ready to lend a hand? Maybe we need to ask someone who lives that kind of life. Her name is Gloria Wank, a local realtor with Realty Home Advisors International.

Let’s start by telling you who Gloria helps:

 

  • She’s an Ambassador for the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.
  • She’s on the Board for the Women’s Executive Club.
  • She builds homes for Habitat for Humanity 100 Women’s Build.
  • She’s served on the Event Committee for Hoping for a Cure for Multiple Sclerosis.
  • She’s a God Parent with JAFCO – Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options.
  • She’s on the Planning Committee for the annual Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities.
  • She’s on the Feeding the Community Committee of the Junior League.
  • She’s a Board Member and on the Events Committee of the Children’s Museum.
  • She’s on committees for the annual Mayor’s Ball and the annual Honor Your Doctor luncheon with the Rotary Club of Downtown Boca Raton.
  • She’s active in Soroptimist International of Boca Raton/Deerfield Beach.
  • She’s a Board Member and on the events committee YMCA of South Palm Beach County.
  • She was previously on the Board of the Special Olympics
  • She was previously on the Board of From Homeless to Wholeness.

 

Between all these extraordinary acts of selflessness and charity, Gloria sells houses. Lots of houses. She’s very good at what she does and everyone in Boca Raton seemingly knows her and loves working with her. She’s the perfect combination of being talented, out-going and big hearted.  

But how did she get like this?

Gloria grew up in Brooklyn. She spent many years teaching children with special needs, from elementary through high school. Doing work like that can change a person. It can expand your horizons and open your heart to wanting to lend a hand or offer a kind word. But it was Gloria’s upbringing that put her on the road to helping others.

Gloria says that, “In my home we always had a tzedakah box, a place where we as a family would empty our pockets of change and occasionally paper money as well,” she says, “In that way, we could regularly give to those in need.”  

 

Tzedakah in a Jewish home is all about charitable giving. It is typically seen as a family or individual’s moral obligation to help the poor. Jewish farmers, even today, allocate a portion of their harvest to feed those in need.

Her family always kept an empty seat at the holiday table, Gloria says, in case they discovered anyone at the last minute who had nowhere to go for that special, traditional holiday meal. She follows that tradition to this day with her own daughter, Alexis, a 26-year-old MBA graduate of Lynn University.

Gloria’s Mother also insisted that everyone in the family do “mitzvahs” or good deeds for others.  She would take Gloria with her when she would fill a shopping cart, push it around the neighborhood selling housedresses to women in the community in order to benefit local residents with disabilities.

She says her grandparents were also an inspiration to her. “They were in the kosher milk business of all things,” she says. “During the holidays they would invite local Orthodox Rabbis to the house to dance on their kitchen table for their yeshivas — Jewish schools that provide secular and religious instruction in Judaism. The Rabbis always left with full pockets.”  

Is it any wonder that today, now living and working in Boca Raton, Gloria Wank is one of the most charitable members of our community? She is a walking mitzvah always doing good deeds for other.

If you are interested in volunteering in the greater Boca Raton area, I suggest you think about what interests you and start making calls to organizations that could benefit from your donation of time – perhaps the most precious thing you have to offer them. If you seek specific volunteer opportunities, check out the listings at bocaguide.com/volunteer.html. You can also contact the Spirit of Giving Network at 561-299-1205.  The Network’s staff will train you in how to be a volunteer and help match you to a local nonprofit organization. Visit www.spiritofgivingnetwork.com.  For further information about the Boating & Beach Bash for People with Disabilities or to volunteer, visit: www.boatingbeachbash.com or call 561.715.2622.

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