Meet FOS volunteer and animal fan Jackie Wein

Jackie Wein

Nearly 10 years ago, Jackie Wein became an FOS volunteer for a very specific reason. “There was no chance I could bring home a fish,” she explains. “Volunteering for an animal shelter, I knew I’d be likely to adopt the cats and dogs, so this minimizes that risk. I’ve grown very fond of the stingrays.”

Jackie splits her time between Palm City and Manhattan, New York, where she grew up. Though she’s been a Florida resident for 21 years, her sisters, niece and friends draw her back each spring and summer. It’s a yin and yang life that she loves.  “The lifestyles in New York and Florida are really different, and I’m grateful to have both,” says Jackie. “These retirement years are the best of my life.”

As a teen, Jackie had a flair for writing and editing – skills she would use daily in her long career in advertising. While working, she also authored two mystery novels.  In Connections (available on Amazon) Jackie weaves her characters’ bond with their pets into a rich and suspenseful story set in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. She’s always had an animal in her own life, including several much-loved shelter dogs and cats. Her current cat Asia is an Abyssinian, rescued eight years ago.

Jackie supports many animal and wildlife organizations. She describes being on safari in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana as some of the most thrilling things she’s ever done.  However, her trip around the world rates highly, too. As a twenty-something, with her own savings and her father’s support, she traveled for nine months, staying with native families along the way. “I especially loved India,” says Jackie. “It was fascinating to see other cultures and eye-opening to realize how special the opportunities we have in the U.S. are. I came home very patriotic.” 

Over the years Jackie has given more than 700 hours to FOS as an exhibit guide. “My first day here someone gave me the raw fish to feed the stingrays,” says Jackie. “I didn’t want to touch it, but I’m so glad I did. I look forward to volunteering each week, and I’m glad to be a part of educating people about this ecosystem and all of the life it supports.”

 

Jackie Wein Snapshot

Hometown: Manhattan, NY

Favorite flavors: Chinese cuisine

Recent read: John Grisham’s The Reckoning

Hobbies: Reading