Jane McNulty

She’s probably well-qualified to write this feature on her own, however it’s likely her humble nature wouldn’t quite define how outstandingly beautiful and awesome she actually is.

It’s true, in life, everybody has their own story to tell. And it’s hard, as another individual standing on the outside looking in at someone’s experiences through words, to even come close to describing the amount of pain, humility, passion, empathy, drive, honesty, wholeheartedness, and giving nature that one encompasses. All those words are just a handful that describe Jane McNulty, Capital Campaign Coordinator and self-acclaimed “Goal Digger” for United Against Poverty, a non-profit organization in Vero Beach.

Jane hails from New York, where she was born in Spring Valley and raised in Middletown, NY. While you get a sense of the New York in just from speaking to her (the sassiness, boldness, tell-ya-like-it-is mentality), she has made Florida her home since 2003. Vero Beach, specifically from 2004-2012, and then from 2014 until present. Her views are passionate. Her thoughts are deep. To converse with her is a treasure – you never know what you might find, but you can be sure it’s valuable.

“Vero is the most quirky, unique town I’ve ever experienced,” Jane noted. “There are so many thriving non-profits here that don’t exist in most places. I absolutely love it here. It feels like home to my gypsy bones.”

McNulty has been with United Against Poverty (UP) since 2017. Initially, she was introduced to UP through their STEP class in 2015. From that experience, she was able to obtain a job with Children’s Home Society, where she worked with kids who were aging out of foster care.

“I loved my job there and I stayed for two years,” she explained. “But I realized the programs at United Against Poverty were providing the things that the kids I worked with at Children’s Home Society really needed to survive and thrive.”

Her gut instinct and the level of comfort and confidence that came with seeing the greatness of UP’s efforts gave her the strength to tell the folks there that she wanted to work for them. And so, they agreed, and she has been a vital part of their organization’s growth ever since.

“It was one of the smartest decisions I ever made,” McNulty said.

When she isn’t helping others and working hard for the community, she can be found doing the “mom” thing for her children. Her youngest, Natalise, 11, is a student at Gifford Middle School and is recognized by her teachers for her outstanding reading and writing abilities. She has three older children, Tevin (20), Ives (22), and Timmy (23). Married and divorced twice, she is proud to say she has a great relationship with her children’s two fathers.

“I’ve never considered myself a single mom,” Jane said. “I’ve watched my friends go through situations where they were truly single mothers. I would not have been able to raise the amazing young adults I get to call mine if I didn’t have their dads, and their bonus mom, to rely on.”

She sees life as an adventure and is soaking up every bit of experience along the way. For herself, for her future self, and all the while guiding her children in the best way she knows how.

“I’m not good at being pinned down,” Jane said when asked where she could be found weeknights and on weekends. “I might be cozy in bed at home with my youngest reading a book one night, or in a smoky hole-in-the-wall bar singing another night,” she explained. “Or I could very well be on a mission to help someone whether I know them or not. Or, hibernating in a place that shall not be named,” she smirked.

It is abundantly clear – whatever Jane McNulty does, whatever she plans to do, whatever she HAS done – it’s always done with intensity and passion from the depths of her soul.

Jane McNulty attends a local philanthropic event representing United Against Poverty.

“My inspiration is my Nana – her life is movie-worthy,” McNulty said. “She was an orphan raised by her aunt and uncle. She moved by herself into Manhattan, got a job as a secretary at the hospital there, and in the evenings,  she could be found in full flapper regalia, earning her nickname – Gin. She married my grandfather after World War I and had two boys, the first of which – my Uncle Jimmy – died at the age of five. She had my father when she was 41 and raised him in the Brooklyn Brownstone that she lived in until she was 85 years old.”

The value Jane places on her family ancestry is apparent in the descriptions she reminisces about. It’s no doubt her grandmother would have certainly been worthy of a “cool personality” feature in her day and age.

“My favorite quote, passed down from my father and given to us by Winston Churchill, is ‘Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.’”

And while luckily, in her line of work, she rarely has to tell someone such a thing, there’s no doubt that Gin’s beloved granddaughter could certainly muster the courage to.

My favorite quote, passed down from my father and given to us by Winston Churchill, is “Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip.”

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Nancilee Wydra
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