Volunteers of America Honors Dedicated Volunteers at their Annual Appreciation Luncheon
A Sunday school class, caring individuals and long-time supporters were among those honored for exceptional service to Volunteers of America North Louisiana during our annual Volunteer Luncheon. About 130 people gathered for the celebration at East Ridge Country Club.
“Each of you here today provide more to our work. You offer kindness to children in our LightHouse and Communities In Schools programs who may need a tutor and friend. You share warmth and comfort to seniors and those with disabilities who may feel alone. You give courage to Veterans whose experiences with trauma have led to struggles with addiction and depression,” CEO/President Chuck Meehan told the crowd. “Together, you compassionately serve each person who finds their way to Volunteers of America. Our ministry of work is not possible without you.”
Last year, around 600 volunteers donated more than 3,300 hours to the organization.
Champion of Dignity Award: Faith, Fellowship and Friends Class at FUMC
This award recognizes volunteers who work with some of our neediest populations. The Faith, Fellowship and Friends class at First United Methodist Church Shreveport continue a relationship built years ago between faithful church members and residents at our Greenwood Lodge apartments, a home for those with significant intellectual disabilities. Each year, this group host quarterly birthday parties for each individual and a large, festive Christmas party to celebrate the holiday season. Such a blessing!
Ellen Brown Spirit of Volunteerism Award: Senior Meal Volunteers
This award honors the first director of the Highland Center, and continues to honor those who invest in the Highland Community. For years, faithful volunteers have served lunch to seniors twice a week, also known as the Senior Meals. Chuck highlighted Bob Sanderlin, Ruth Ann Folsom, Carolyn Clarke and Rosemary Barker during the luncheon for their exceptional service.
Rachel Sparks Memorial Award: Kim Shupe
Named for Volunteers of America’s longtime executive director, this award honors those who continue her legacy of leadership and excellence. Kim Shupe, a dedicated volunteer, plans a Christmas party every year for our Veterans. Along with her family, she ensures each Veteran receives a personalized, meaningful gift and she makes arrangements with Texas Roadhouse to cater the meal. Kim is committed to serving those who first served us and we are forever grateful.
Beacon of Hope Award: Andrea Mason
This year, the LightHouse celebrates 30 years of being part of Volunteers of America serving as a beacon of hope to children and communities in desperate need of more light. Andrea Mason goes above and beyond for our LightHouse kids and most often, she prefers to stay behind the scenes. Andrea a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Shreveport Louisiana Stake and currently serves as the Young Women’s President. Four years ago, Andrea contacted our staff and asked if our LightHouse kids could attend a day summer camp during their annual women’s youth retreat. This relationship has led to amazing memories and friendships.
Altrusa Award: The Give Bak Foundation
In today’s world of self-promotion, we treasure those who demonstrate authentic, selfless love. The Give Bak Foundation is a group of individuals who give of themselves to bring light to our community and expect nothing in return. They are generous in almost every way possible to children at our Bossier City LightHouse. From sponsoring families during the holiday season to fishing trips in the summer, The Give Bak Foundation provides once in a lifetime opportunities for our kids. Clint Cannon and Bryan Roppollo excepted the awards on behalf of all involved with this wonderful cause.
Humanitarian Award: The Burns Family
Philanthropy is about making an investment in the community that will result in long-term change. The Burns family have been involved with Volunteers of America for many years through their volunteerism and investment. The father, Todd, served on our Board of Directors in the 1990s and their daughter, Tori, is a current Board member. In addition, the family host an annual Christmas dinner at our Corbitt Lodge apartments, a home for individuals with disabilities. Family to family, they make each resident feel loved and special. On behalf of those who make their way to us, we are humbled and grateful for The Burns family support of our work in this community.