Glenn Jenkins, Director of Embrace Kids Foundation, has been an extremely valued member of the Rutgers Dance Marathon community since RUDM first re-started 20 years ago. He has served as the Executive Director of Embrace Kids Foundation throughout this time and although the organization has undergone a name change, the mission has stayed the same throughout the years.
One major aspect of Embrace Kids Foundation that has grown far beyond Glenn’s initial expectations is the RU4Kids program. RU4Kids, a program in which Rutgers student organizations are paired with patient families, has evolved into its own support community and into a highly rewarding volunteer experience for students. Glenn believes “the relationships between student groups and patient families are direct, deep and meaningful. There is great love, value and appreciation within each pairing, some of which span 5 years or more. There is no university dance marathon in the U.S.A that has students so directly involved with the the patient families that benefit from the cause and event. It is unique and beautiful.”
RUDM has only greatly benefited from the RU4Kids Program and the relationship with Embrace Kids Foundation. “That is because of shared valued, goals, trust and culture. There is a collective focus and prioritization on the greater good, which is the children and their families”, says Glenn. When asked where the relationship with RUDM and Embrace Kids Foundation is going next, Glenn believes it will only continue to flourish. “The partnership will continue to grow, much like a marriage or family – where there is integration on so many levels. And where everyone makes each other better….and where it is hard to identify who benefits most. That is a beautiful relationship – where all involved prosper and feel valued.”