Bernice Jones is a 35-year veteran at DTE Energy, a leader in her community, and she has a voice for volunteering. As someone who wants to make the most of her talent, Jones and her musically-inclined family often volunteer their voices at charity events, providing entertainment and sharing a message of hope.
This year, Jones and her husband, Rev. Robert Jones, took main stage at the 2016 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Detroit walk to share a message with all of the survivors and supporters that took part in the walk – no one walks alone.
“My husband and I often end our shows with a song called ‘No One Walks Alone,’ so when I heard that the theme for the walk this year was ‘No One Walks Alone’ I knew it was a great fit,” said Jones.
In addition to her performance, Jones used her position as an office administrator at two of DTE Energy’s service centers, Redford and Caniff, to get other employees involved. Together, the teams collected more than $1,000 of donations and formed a team of 16 people to participate in the walk.
Jones’ passion for the cause is personal. Four of her nieces and one of her sisters have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. Statistically, about one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime.
“Everybody is or is going to be touched by this dreadful disease because we all have women in our lives,” said Jones. “And, not only can women be affected, but we know now that this can affect men, too.”
Jones also has a lot of passion for giving back to people in need. She and her husband spend their free time at their church, Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, where her husband is a pastor. There, they volunteer, sing and give back to their community. They stock and run a soup kitchen, provide college scholarships, support the Narcotics Anonymous program and reach out to local senior citizens. They also travel across the country singing and storytelling at festivals, schools, libraries, churches and other venues.
“All of the volunteerism I do comes from growing up with my mother as the sole caregiver for my 11 sisters and three brothers,” said Jones. “Financially, we often had to seek assistance. Someone was always giving to us so I wanted to give back. As soon as I became a functioning adult, I began giving back to others in need.”