Shabonya Dutton’s Good Neighbor for August 2017
Contributed by Shabonya Dutton of State Farm, written by Kelsie Creamer
Laughter spilled from every corner of my office during the hour that I spent with Jill Schultz. Moments of chair dancing, singing, and telling jokes led me to the conclusion that Jill lives each day to its absolute fullest. Her positive energy and good attitude shined through our time together, and by the time that Jill left me for the day I felt as though I had made a new friend.
Jill was born in Kellogg, ID where she grew up and graduated high school. She grew up with two brothers and one sister where she is the second youngest sibling. She moved to Elko in the late 1990’s with her first husband. They moved to Elko because her husband received employment at one of the local gold mines. They planted roots and she spent the next years raising her three daughters, Kayla now 25, Kylie now 21 and Krystina who just graduated from Elko High School and is 18. Raising her girls and now having six grandchildren who range in age from six months to six years, has been the greatest accomplishment of her life.
In 2007 her first marriage ended and Jill focused her time on raising her family. It was in this year that she was also diagnosed with brain cancer. Jill has fought the disease since that year and has come out the bright, energetic woman that she is today. Being a cancer survivor has left Jill with the motto to “Live, Love and Laugh.” It is important to love strong, laugh hard, but mostly live each day fully. In her own words, “I’ve been given a special gift to live to the fullest, and that is what I do,” Jill says with a smile across her face sitting next to her best friend Angelica. “I was born prematurely and have been fighting my whole life. This fight was just a different one.” It is a fight that we are happy she has survived ten years through.
Jill has not let her experience with cancer define her. Her life is so much more than being a cancer survivor. She spends all of her spare time helping members of our community however she can. This may take the form of helping friends run errands, taking a neighbor to a dr. appointment, or letting someone’s pets out during the day. She is so admired amongst the people she helps that one of her neighbors moved into an apartment a few doors down from her when she moved to a different area of town. He wanted to make sure that he could still be where she would be able to help him. Jill is a natural born care taker. It is something that she takes pride in and brings her joy. When she goes to bed every night she considers herself successful if she has made someone smile, done a good dead or favor for someone, or made some one laugh.
During the floods that affected our community Jill and her best friend Angelica wanted to make sure that they helped our community in any way that they could. Jill knew that she would not be able to be on the front lines filling sand bags, so she took some time to brainstorm other simple ways to help. The women took water and juice to the volunteers working hard to save homes. They knew that some refreshment during the grueling work would be the pick me up that volunteers needed. Simple gestures can go so far when it comes to neighbors helping neighbors.
I know in my short time with Jill I was inspired to make a much larger impact on the people around me. Small things can be big things to someone we care about. If we all were a little more selfless and put forth the effort to be a great neighbor. Jill’s bright spirit and positive energy is a guiding force. Thank you Jill for all you do, and for making everyone around you smile.
If you would like to nominate a Good Neighbor please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kayla Ozman at 775.738.3423.