Meet Jill, ECM's Newest Organizer

Hello, this is Jill Applegate – I’ll be working this year as an Iowa Field Organizer for Every Child Matters!

I’m originally from Spencer, home of Dewey Readmore Books. You know, “The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World?” It’s a national bestseller and, strangely, a global phenomenon. jill 2Also home of the Clay County Fair, the largest farm machinery and agriculture equipment showcase in the country. I love my hometown, but I also fell in love with Des Moines when I came to study sociology at Drake.

After graduating, I wanted to apply what I learned to solving social problems. I joined the Public Allies Iowa AmeriCorps program to try to do that and serve my local community. I helped the Des Moines Community Action Agency develop a strategic plan and then led their Holiday Food Project, providing families in need a 3-5 day supply of food for the holiday break when school-kids are home. I was inspired to learn about Sargent Shriver, who helped to create the Community Action Program during the War on Poverty, as well as the Peace Corps. One thing I took away from working in Community Action: no parent in a struggling family should have to bring their children with them when seeking assistance just because there is no other safe place for the kids to go. We need better access to high-quality child care.

I work part-time at Vera Bradley (the travel and handbag store), am an avid Parks & Recreation fan, and recently formed a book club to dive into the great works of literature.  I also volunteer for Hopeful Africa, a small non-profit here in Des Moines dedicated to educational development and equal partnership with schools in Kenya.

I’m so excited to get started with ECM in Iowa – here’s to a great campaign! And please let me know if you can help in any way. We have a menu of options ranging from making a phone call to attending a candidate event.