Carrying on a loved one’s legacy through community service
Jo Chesser was inspired by her father's commitment to their Jacksonville community—now she's passed that same enthusiasm on to her coworkers.
Each of us has that one special person who guides our morals and values in life. For Jo Chesser, this was her father, Jim Dotson. From the time I started with Allstate, I heard the stories of my co-worker working mornings, evenings, and weekends to volunteer with her father at the church pantry where they helped feed and clothe those in need in our Jacksonville community. In May of 2017, Mr. Dotson passed away, but Jo refused to let his memory be lost. In July of 2018 Jo created the Jim Dotson Foundation to carry on his legacy. Her heart carries his love with every person that she helps!
Not only did she work to build the foundation from the ground up, she has partnered with local community groups, businesses, and churches to reach all of those in need. This includes Lutheran Social Services, Publix, Feeding Northeast Florida, Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Five Star Veterans Center, Winn-Dixie, Farm Share and Walmart.
The foundation works with Fort Caroline Presbyterian Church to host a mobile food pantry at least twice a month with homemade pancakes. Every weekend she feeds between 250-500 families along with supplying families with boxes of fresh food and non-perishables to get them through the week. Two and a half years ago, Jo and her partners adopted Jacksonville Police Substation Zone 2; they host roll call and put in hours of volunteerism to get the officers ready for their day, including making them breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Beyond what she gives back to the community, her stories make you smile and feel that there really is good left in the world. We see it every Monday morning, when she comes back to work and shares the stories from her weekend. She inspires each of us to stand up in the community and help spread this even further. The employees at Allstate have pitched in to volunteer at some of her events along with helping some of her partnering groups such as Feeding Northeast Florida and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office. By standing up and sharing her stories, she is a constant reminder to each of us to support one another and go out to the community to give back!
Visit the The Jim Dotson Foundation Facebook page to see how they’re serving the Jacksonville, Florida, community.
Jo Chesser is a Senior Analyst at Allstate Dealer Services and lifetime Jacksonville, Florida, resident. As a single mom raising a daughter who is in college, she has continued to strive to balance work, family, and volunteerism. She has been involved with the Shriners, Stand Down for Veteran, and has worked side-by-side with her father in his food pantry until he passed away in 2017. She created the Jim Dotson Foundation in July of 2018 to continue his legacy of helping the community.