Jill Garris

Jill Garris

Jill Garris • Vibrant People of Elkhart County

Jill Garris is our Vibrant Person for Wednesday!


Did you know that “Fair Green” was even a thing? We do now. It is the color someone who is so passionate about Elkhart County’s terrific 4-H fair bleeds when they are asked to give just a little bit more. It is one of the things that distinguishes today’s Vibrant Person. For Jill Garris, 4-H is a hobby, opportunity to share her talents and commitment and source of joy and satisfaction all rolled into one. The fair is where it all comes together.

Jill grew up in Millersburg. Her current mailing address reads Goshen. With the exception of a seven-year stint in Nashville, she and husband, Jesse has been in Elkhart County their whole lives. Jill says, “It’s our home.” She adds, “Even when we were living away from here, we knew we would be back.” Surely, this is where Jill belongs and being part of 4-H is what she was meant to do.

As a youngster, Jill was active in 4-H. She took full advantage of what the program had to offer. After her time was up as a member, Jill has taken on leadership roles. “I want to give back to what has given so much to me,” is how she explains her long term involvement.

Jill is outgoing and optimistic. There are no bad days for her, although some might be a little less good. Jill has the capacity to get others to feel good about things and to see the upside of what is going on. Jill also has the knack for helping people channel that optimism and do some things that are worthwhile. She also helps you quickly realize it is not about her; rather it is making things the best they can be.

Jill is a vocal advocate for where she lives. She has been active in promoting Elkhart County and is a gracious ambassador. She is also willing to take on a challenge if need be.

Having a four-month-old at home can be a challenge for any family. For Jill and Jesse, their young one is a Golden Retriever named Kevin. Kevin is a sweet, but rambunctious boy who is training to accompany Jill on “feel good” visits to hospitals, nursing homes and places where people might need a lick, a wagging tail, and a cuddle.

As Jill says, “I just love, love, love giving back.” We are very, very, very happy she is doing it in Elkhart County.