Volunteer of the Year
2016 Nominations Open Later This Year!
Every volunteer is special, but each program has a number of volunteers who stand out for one reason or another. Please take time to nominate one of your special volunteers for NVCN’s national Volunteer of the Year Award.
Volunteers of the Year will receive an i-pad again donated by Ride Scheduler for their personal use or to be passed on to their program. Nominations open October 1, 2016 and are due by November 30, 2016.
Ronald Fluck has been a volunteer for over four years with Sharecare Faith in Action in Bethlehem, PA. Ron has distinguished himself with over 925 points of service during 2015. More importantly, Ron's constant smile and fun loving personality always lifts the spirits of the care recipients with which he interacts – driving them to non-emergency medical appointments, taking them on special trips to view autumn leaves, or while delivering cheesecake during hospital visits. Disabled veterans, widows, and the extremely ill have been among those blessed by Ron’s services.
We know that every volunteer caregiving organization would be proud to list Ron Fluck as a volunteer. Thank you, Ron, for your service to your nation, community, and local volunteer caregiving organization - Sharecare! Your 10,000+ hours save our nation thousands of dollars per year.
“Congratulations to Ron and all of the other awardees. Volunteers are the bricks that allow our organizations to thrive. It is always heartwarming to learn more about the services that are creating the choice of independent living through volunteer caregiving. It is also appropriate to thank Sharecare Faith in Action and to congratulate, Lynn Heiney, and all of the other directors that submitted a name for this year’s award," stated Judy Tabert, interim Executive Director of NVCN. "All of our worthy organizations, directors, and volunteers deserve recognition for the services they provide often times on a shoestring budget.”
The competition was stiff, and the judges had a very difficult time choosing only one individual to award. Really, how do you choose one volunteer over another? All of them are worthy!
Lynn Stephens, a retired nurse, has volunteered with Friends in Action of DeWitt County, Clinton, IL, for the past five years where her gentle manner has been well received by the elders she serves. Lynn transports elders to medical appointments and to social engagements that require long-distance travel through the rural countryside in addition to other duties.
Friends in Action of DeWitt County has been providing services to their senior neighbors since their inception ten years ago upon the receipt of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant to begin interfaith volunteer caregiving in their community. The organization is dependent upon local volunteers like Lynn, who transport, visit, and provide other tasks of daily living to help seniors remain independent and in their homes for as long as safely possible.
Mrs. Stephens was selected from a pool of national volunteers who are the foundation and heart of each local volunteer caregiving program. Lynn was honored at the recent NVCN National Conference in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
Rhonda Anderson, Executive Director, the National Volunteer Caregiving Network noted, “Lynn exemplifies the outstanding service of thousands of volunteer caregivers across the nation.”
NVCN's 2013 Volunteer of the Year, selected from among our member organizations, received an iPad* in recognition of her selfless contribution to volunteer caregiving.
Marion Reiter of Faith in Action
Washburn County, Spooner, Wisconsin
"While our program suffered without a director, Marion took charge in her humble way, perhaps ensuring the program's survival. She donated hundreds of hours in the office and was also extremely active provding care recipient services. She often takes requests when no other volunteer is willing or able."
- Bob Castagna, Caring Connections for Seniors, Chicago, IL. Bob offers the extraordinary commitment of volunteering for two full days per week. (nominated by Andre Petty)
- Millie Clements, TriCities Faith in Action, Granite City, IL. This compassionate volunteer rearranges her schedule when her services are requested, and many will ride with no other. Millie's marketing skills result in new volunteers and increased community awareness.(nominated by Carol Ann Worthington)
- Maggie Folmar, Duet: Partners in Health & Aging, Phoenix, AZ. Maggie's visits have helped keep isolation and depression at bay and enriched the quality of life for all those she serves. (nominated by Sue Reckinger)
- Winnie Hendrickson, Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee, Owosso, MI. Winnie is an ambassador for our agency. Her wonderful laugh brings a sense of fun to most anything she attends. (nominated by Helen Howard)
- Allie C. Henninger, Eastside Friends of Seniors, Sammamish, WA. Allie has driven more than 4,500 miles supporting our cause. She is always willing to help, has a selfless heart, and inspires us all. (nominated by Claire Petersky)
- Debbie Herold, Faith in Action Caregivers-Southwest Austin, Austin, TX. This volunteer extraordinaire drove 180 trips in 2012, attended weekly committee meetings and monthly board meetings, while keeping all the program's financial records. (nominated by Janet Allen)
- Nancy Holloran, Duet: Partners in Health & Aging, Phoenix, AZ. This generous, unassuming woman is an advocate for those who wish to live independently. She has served as a program director, a mentor for newly formed Faith in Action programs nationwide, and now as a volunteer. (nominated by Sue Reckinger)
- Jeri-Lynn Kellogg, Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee, Owosso, MI. While working full-time, Jeri-Lynn assisted a special care receiver, sometimes multiple times per day, becoming more like family than a volunteer. (nominated by Helen Howard)
- Kathleen King, Interfaith Community Partners, LaGrange Park, IL. This mother of 5 children and professor of education has for the past 11 years been a volunteer, served as volunteer trainer, and helped rebuild a waning board. (nominated by Gail Stone)
- Quinin Velez, FriendshipWorks, Boston, MA. This tireless and vibrant volunteer coordinates services primarily for our Spanish speaking community. She currently provides friendly visits to 7 seniors weekly and completed 172 medical escorts this past year. (nominated by Lois Waller)
* We are grateful to Ride Scheduler for their generous sponsorship.
NVCN would like to congratulate our two winners of the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award:
Ed Pejack of St. Joseph's Interfaith Caregivers, Stockton, CA, has given new meaning during the past four years to friendly visiting with several care receivers who cope with debilitating illness, multiple health issues, and progressing dementia. He finds interesting ways of improving the care receivers' lives, such as Tai Chi exercising, walks that include an ice cream stop, bringing them home-baked cookies, going to a concert in the park, or visiting the harbor to view incoming cargo ships. Ed is frequently called on to share his experiences with new volunteer candidates.
Photo: Ed receives his Award from Rhonda Anderson, NVCN Executive Director, on August 8 at the 2012 Celebration of Volunteers Banquet in Sacramento. When accepting his Award, Ed stated he "finds volunteering to be somewhere between a responsibility and a privilege." Spoken from a pure servant's heart, Ed!
Frank Signorella of Community Health Ministry Faith in Action, Wamego, KS, accepts, organizes, transports, and manages all donated items received by the program. This includes household furniture and equipment and medical supplies (wheelchairs, crutches, etc.). Frank also assists on food distribution days by assisting with the bagging and organizing of both monthly and daily distributions to homes and with the harvester's food truck. This includes over 500 recipients during the month! He delivers food and clothing to other distribution sites as well. "Giving of one's time is inherit in this man's life," states Rosemary Helms, who submitted Frank's nomination. "We don't know what we'd do without him."
Volunteers are the Cornerstone of Volunteer Caregiving Programs throughout the Nation. Thus, in 2011 NVCN began a tradition of honoring some very special caregivers at our volunteer banquet during our annual national conference. Members of NVCN are encouraged to nominate one volunteer from their program who exemplifies the the very essence of volunteer caregiving. It's a difficult task for programs to choose just one, and just as difficult for NVCN to choose one overall winner to be named Volunteer of the Year. After reviewing all nominations, Margery Tonks of the Interfaith Volunteer Caregiving Project of Christiansted, Virgin Islands, was selected.
Orientated in 1996, Margery is described as "giving, receiving, teaching and learning, with the uncanny ability to serve while allowing those she serves to reciprocate by giving back to her."
"She sits in on volunteer trainings as a veteran with enthusiasm and excitement, sharing scenarious from her many years of service. Trainees are captivated and look forward to cultivating their own rapport with their elder friends."
Writes Elisa McKay, Project Director, "We want to be like Marge Tonks when we grow up!"
Photo Credit: Susan Ellis, The Avis
NVCN congratulates all of the 2011 Nominees:
- Alice Anton, Faith in Action, Sewickley, PA
- Kathryn Beernink, Faith in Action of McHenry County, Crystal Lake, IL
- Howard Dorsey, Faith in Action Caregivers, Inc., Wheeling, WV
- Janell Faletto, Faith in Action: Supporting Senior Independence, Sammamish, WA
- Beverly Jenkins, Faith in Action Care Program, Shepherd's Center of Greater Winston-Salem, NC
- Glynthy Kottmann, Faith in Action Quad Cities, Port Byron, IL
- Carol Nama, Respite Volunteers of Shiawassee, Owosso, MI
- Betty Okamoto, Project Dana, Honolulu, HI
- Zippy Ostroy, FriendshipWorks, Boston, MA
- Roberta Pearce, Hospice of the EUP - FIA Bridging Program, Sault Ste. Marie, MI
- Frank Pierson, Interfaith Community Partners, LaGrange Park, IL