Kay Jensen receives top Lions honor

Member of Mayfield Lions receives Utah State Humanitarian Award

Keven Christensen (left), president of the Richfield Lions Club, gives Kay Jensen the Utah State Lions Club Humanitarian Award as she stands alongside her husband John Jensen.

MAYFIELD—Kay Jensen is always looking for goodness.

And through that search, she has provided service to the community that earned her the 2021 Utah State Lions Club Humanitarian Award, the highest award given in the club.

Jensen has lived in Manti with her husband, John Jensen, for 37 years, and she has been serving the Sanpete Community for even longer.              Before moving to Manti, Jensen lived in Fountain Green, where she worked as a public health nurse.

“She always does a lot,” John said of his wife’s community involvement.  

Jensen has been a member of the Mayfield Lions Club for the past four years and is currently the club’s treasurer and historian. 

With the club, Jensen has participated in Pioneer Day celebrations, summer reading program donations and bake sales, among others. 

Along with her service as a registered nurse, Jensen was a Utah State EMT for 44 years and EMT instructor, holding the office of President of Utah Association of Emergency Medical Technicians twice.

Jensen is currently on the Child Abuse Prevention Team, which holds an afterschool youth group for kids of any age (including high school).  The program holds classes and executes various service projects throughout the county. 

The group’s main, and most fun, service projects, Jensen said, are the Toys for Tots and Tree of Angels projects they do during the holidays. The projects usually reach about 1200 children around the county.

The kids are the ones who should get the recognition for all the program’s service projects in the county, Jensen said. “It’s not me,” she said, “They’re the ones that really ought to get the recognition.”

The important things the group does around the community would be impossible without the students and volunteers, she said.

But Jensen’s “greatest accomplishment” is the 78 children that she fostered over the years, something she began doing when she was 20 years old.  Jensen said she mostly took care of girls with various issues. She said she keeps in contact with most of them today. And, in some cases, she is in contact with their children and grandchildren. 

Kay and John have three biological children and 11 grandchildren, some of whom are adopted.

Jensen wants to encourage more people in Sanpete County to do their part to help others.

“We need more people to reach out, and let others that are hurting know they’re not the only ones,” she said.

She said people should look around them and see who needs help. The county is “full of people who want to help,” Jensen said, and she encourages them to explore all the opportunities around Sanpete.  Because, she said, the best way to get through hurt is to help someone else. 

And even in times of hurt, Jensen said, there is always goodness to be found.

“If you can look through the turmoil of things going on, there is a whole lot more good.”