Jensen serves her community wherever she goes

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

Karen Jensen’s tenure as a volunteer in the community is extensive. While living in Illinois years ago, she co-led a successful 4-H Club. For the past 25 years she has volunteered with the Philanthropic Organization, a sisterhood of women helping women whose mission is to celebrate the advancement of women. PEO provides education through scholarships, grants, awards, loans and stewardship of Cottey College and motivates people to achieve their highest aspirations. PEO was founded in 1869 and has chapters around the United States, Canada and overseas.

Jensen has also been a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) for the past 37 years.

A pollinator hat Jensen made for a Shelby County Arts Council luncheon fund-raiser with a Judi Elliott quilt shown in the background. (Contributed)

“With the help of my brother Doug, we proved lineage back to nine patriots who preserved our Democracy against crazed insurgents which was super important to me,” Jensen said.

She served as regent when she resided in Illinois and chairman since living in Alabama. She has had the honor of presenting JROTC awards to students at Vincent Middle High School. As a participant in the American Cancer Society’s Race for the Cure, she has supported fundraising in the effort to cure cancer. Her team, “River Rats,” served meals at the clubhouse and a silent auction for seven years.

Currently, Jensen is a member—and vice president—of the Lay Lake Homeowners and Boat Owners Association and is involved in its public relations division. She has been responsible for publicizing events including the Lay Lake Cleanup and the annual volunteer picnic which convenes at Beeswax Park. Additional service to the community includes her time as president of the Decatur League of Women Voters. She won two “Best Actress” awards for her work in the community theatre, and she did a weekly radio public interest commentary.

During COVID-19, Jensen has sheltered in place like the majority of Americans have. She is grateful to Zoom technology enabling her to preside as president with her philanthropic, educational organization, P.E.O. chapter. Jensen is among the dozens of volunteers who make face masks. As many as 60 fabric masks have been donated to businesses and organizations throughout the community; masks recipients include Davis Drugs in Columbiana, Brothers Lumber, Target and RSVP.

A Camden, New Jersey native, Jensen resides in Shelby Shores along with Charles “Chuck,” her spouse of 53 years. The couple have been blessed with three wonderful children and six beautiful grandchildren.