by LIZ ONUFER | photo by Zeena Gregg Photography

The Grandmother Who Gives

Joan Duncan Helps Meet the Needs of Many Across Inland North County

Whether volunteering, dog walking, or spending time with her granddaughters, Joan Duncan has not slowed down since retiring as a special education teacher. A 92064 resident since July 2007, Joan is actively involved with the Assistance League of Inland North County, an all volunteer organization serving children and families in need.

Joan first learned of the organization while walking her dog with a neighbor who suggested she might Volunteer02be interested. The friendly dog walk turned into a great commitment for Joan, who has served on the Board for four years, first as the vice president of Resource Development and then as the vice president of Philanthropic Programs. Through these different roles, Joan has planned fundraising events, supervised the thrift store, and oversaw the organization’s eleven philanthropic programs.

The Assistance League meets a wide range of needs in the local communities. From Baby Real Deal, focused on deterring teen pregnancy, and Operation Duffel Bag, ensured foster youth receive needed items, to scholarships for local graduates and Senior Outreach, provided fans, blankets and Lifeline medallions, Joan ensured the programs stayed within budget while best serving the community. “My wish would be that we would always have the funds needed to support our programs. The programs are too important to our communities to even lose one,” Joan said.

Family is a large part of Joan’s community. Jack, her husband of forty-five years, and Joan have two children and two grandchildren, Avery and Kamryn, both who attend Highland Ranch School. Joan’s granddaughters find ways to support the Assistance League, as well. Most recently the girls, aged 9 and 6, attended the group’s fundraiser – a basketball shootout between the Harlem Ambassadors and twenty community leaders. Joan also shared how Kamryn played a role in 2012 while delivering agreements to the local school districts. “Since it was just before Christmas, we pretended we were Santa and Mrs. Claus. She sprinkled pretend Christmas dust as we entered the offices, much to the delight of the various district staff,” Joan explained. When not assisting with programs, Joan loves taking the girls to visit Lake Poway and to ride the train at Old Poway Park.

Helping to meet the needs of the North County Inland communities takes the work of many hands. “New members are always welcome. Our members are much more than a group of volunteers. We are friends and family to each other,” Joan shared.


Name: Joan Duncan
Community: Poway since 2007
Volunteer Affiliation: Assistance League Inland North County
Occupation: Retired special education teacher. Four years on the Board of Assistance League Inland North County.
Family: Husband – Jack; Son – Douglas; Daughter and her husband – Jaclyn and Ian Jensen; Granddaughters – Avery (9) and Kamryn (almost 6)
Hobbies/Interests: Walking, reading, antiques, history buff, politics, playing Bunco, having fun with our granddaughters
Favorite Local Spots: Poway Lake, Old Poway Park train


Name of Group: Assistance League of Inland North County
Group’s Purpose: Assistance League of Inland North County is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization actively involved in enriching the lives of children and adults in our community through philanthropic programs
Phone: 760-746-7532
 Website: www.assistanceleague.info