By Lisa Thomson
(AJNews) – A hearty Mazel Tov to Roxanne Droppo, Jewish Family Services Calgary Executive Director and one of Calgary’s Jewish Community leaders, for recently being awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal, in recognition of her significant contributions to the Province of Alberta.
“I’m honoured to receive this award alongside many other dedicated Albertans. I am grateful to everyone who has supported me along this journey – my family, friends, supervisors, colleagues and most importantly my teams,” says Droppo.
For more than 35 years, Roxanne has dedicated her life to helping others, both professionally and in her personal life, working in social services with children, families and seniors.
“I chose this profession because I believe every child has the right to a family, every individual has the right to have their basic needs met and every person needs a helping hand at some point in their life,” says Droppo. “I want to be that helping hand.”
When she stepped into her JFSC role in 2017, Roxanne had a strong vision and seized the opportunity to grow the agency, strengthen programs and achieve financial stability. Roxanne embraces the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam and strives to identify gaps in care, tackle emerging social needs, ensure service excellence and provide inclusive accessibility for people needing assistance. Over the past five years the agency has introduced nine robust programs to meet emerging needs, and 99% of clients feel they are treated with dignity and respect.
“I feel very strongly that in order to make a big impact on people’s lives, we must work together to make that happen,” says Droppo. ”Collaborating and partnering with other organizations is so important. To quote Hellen Keller, ‘Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much’.”
Roxanne leads with curiosity and questions why we do things the way we do – all with the intent and purpose to grow, learn and strive for excellence. It is this curiosity that has helped Roxanne make such an impact on the individuals she leads and the communities she supports. Her ability to quickly pivot directions to respond to emerging needs was demonstrated through her leadership during Covid. JFSC not only persevered, it grew significantly, and supported other organizations during this difficult time with service delivery and concrete supports such as food security.
Adversity is not a barrier for Roxanne – she welcomes the challenge. With her boundless energy, Roxanne demonstrates leadership qualities with her peers and staff – she is inspiring, thought provoking, creative, and brings out the motivation in others. She challenges the people around her, making them grow and inspiring them to be the best they can be.
Roxanne also demonstrates her passion to make the world a better place in her personal life. For 16 years she was a foster parent, taking in 56 high risk infants and their families. She has been an active community volunteer for over 20 years in various roles that include being a Caregiver Allegation Support Team member with Alberta Foster and Kinship Association, Board Member with FFCA, Chair of her children’s Parent Council Association and a parent volunteer for different community associations.
The Queen’s Jubilee Medal celebrates the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne. As part of the Platinum Jubilee year celebrations, medals will be presented to 7000 exceptional Albertans who have demonstrated significant contributions to the province.