Donna Jones Jeffers has made it her life's work to bring attention and assistance to what has been referred to as the "invisible minority." Few of us probably realize that one in four Greater Cincinnati residents have roots somewhere in Appalachia. They are a large group dealing with many of the obstacles facing other minorities but can often go unnoticed because they can be difficult to identify. It is those residents that Donna has dedicated countless hours and efforts in helping for more than a decade through her work with the Urban Appalachian Council (UAC).
Working out of a small, cramped office in Lower Price Hill, Donna has spearheaded joint efforts with the Oyler School "to have programs to promote self esteem and self reliance," Nancy Laird stated in her nomination letter. Nancy also pointed out that Donna has even volunteered time to take kids from the school to dental visits and donates even more hours to St. Michaels GED [program] and Thrift store. Donna can even be seen, Nancy said, running the streets of Lower Price Hill to gather kids up and get them involved in numerous youth programs developed with Santa Maria Community Services. In addition to all that, Donna chooses to be almost constantly on call whenever a need arises. She'll cook for families who have lost a loved and even provide a place for the family to meet and grieve together.
Indeed, the many efforts made by Donna with the Urban Appalachian Council almost make Nancy's description of her as a "front line worker" seem an understatement. Now, with the hopes of shining a little brighter light on the work of the UAC and its dedicated staff, it is our honor to present to you this month's Hometown Hero, Donna Jones Jeffers. In appreciation of her efforts, Grainger has presented Donna with a commemorative plaque and PNC Bank will make a generous donation to UAC on Ms. Jones Jeffer's behalf.