Heroes In Transition (HIT) has tapped one of its dedicated volunteers and Board Members, Jill Blanchard of Mashpee, to serve as its new Director of Development.
“Jill has been a major asset for our organization since she started volunteering for us five years ago,” Executive Director Nicole Spencer said. “Her passion for our mission has allowed us to grow and assist more veterans, service members, and military families. We’re looking forward to her sharing that passion with our donor base to strengthen our work.”
Blanchard’s introduction to Heroes was as a volunteer at its annual Fall Gala in 2016. Since then, she has stepped up her involvement, participating in its Ruck4HIT relay race the following spring and serving on its Board of Directors since 2017.
With several family members who have served in the military including her father who is a Coast Guard veteran, Blanchard has long been committed to giving back to active duty and veterans, making her a perfect fit for Heroes In Transition. “It is really about helping people,” she said. “What I love about this organization is everyone has the same mindset and is selflessly trying to help others.”
That attitude is embodied in the organization’s President Cyndy Jones who started Heroes In Transition with her late husband Kenneth following the death of their only son, U.S. Marine Captain Eric A. Jones, in 2009 while he was serving in Afghanistan.
“Being able to use her grief and turn it into such a positive to help so many people is such a selfless thing to do,” Blanchard said. “What engaged me is also Eric’s story of taking care of his fellow Marines and his parents carrying on what he was so passionate about.”
A recruiter with Hire Power Professional Services, Blanchard brings with her experience as an educator, counselor, and in the nonprofit sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a focus on trauma, from Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington and a Master of Education degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota.
In her new role, Blanchard will be responsible for identifying, cultivating, and stewarding new and existing donors to support Heroes In Transition’s programs which includes equine therapy for veterans and military families; monthly outings for veterans, military families, military couples, and military spouses; a Fall Couples Retreat; a Reboot program for female service members, veterans, and spouses; providing service dogs to veterans; and financial assistance for veterans in need.
Donors, businesses, or foundations who want to learn more about how they can support Heroes In Transition’s work can contact Jill Blanchard at firstname.lastname@example.org.