Nominees for Volunteer of the Year Award
We have six outstanding 2016 Volunteer of the Year nominees who exhibit outstanding commitment to the SECU Family House community, show compassion and care for guests and have demonstrated an ability to inspire and work well with others. While every volunteer is a winner in our view, we do have a nomination and voting process to narrow it down! Please vote for one of these six nominees by email to Allison Worthy (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person at Family House at the front desk. The voting period closes on Friday, March 24 at 5pm.
Carol Callahan and Marsha Roslanowick
This dynamic front desk duo met on the job in 2008 shortly after the house first opened and have formed a wonderful relationship that has seen them through weddings, grandchildren and more. Their warmth and calm demeanor sets the tone for the 9am to 12pm shift every Wednesday. They are especially good listeners and often provide our house manager with insights about guests and ways we can best support them. Their attention to detail is impeccable and they have their own systems and methods that keep them in sync during their shift. They have also helped Family House bring in corporate meal provider, PDQ [People Dedicated to Quality]. For the second year, PDQ is providing guests with a delicious quarterly meal. On those evenings, Carol and Marsha do double duty, picking up the food and serving dinner to guests with the same warmth and kindness that they bring to their jobs as front desk volunteers every Wednesday morning.
Kim Gardner Duval
The first Monday of every month either WOW (Women of Wine) or the YaYas can be found in the Family House kitchen serving Italian or Mexican food under the steadfast leadership of Kim Gardner Duval. Providing meals at Family House holds special meaning for Kim, as a few years ago she cared for her father during a medical emergency out of state. Kim understands first-hand how comforting a home cooked meal can be for someone experiencing serious illness far from home. WOW and the YaYas are meal provider teams made up of Kim’s friends. Their meals are a win-win for Family House and for the women in these groups as they value the opportunity to spend time with one another and to do something for others in their time of need. Kim is a great example of how to serve and interact with guests, ensuring that they are warmed by the food and her caring concern. She often recognizes which guests are having a particularly tough time and takes an extra moment to touch base with them. Kim is a great role model for her friends, their children and other volunteers.
Donna is the second Fehrenbach to volunteer at Family House. Her husband, Paul, a retired psychologist, was a front desk volunteer shortly after the house opened in 2008. Fast forward to summer 2016 when Donna appeared on our doorstep with a proposal to bake bread for the house every week on Tuesday mornings. Among her many skills and gifts, Donna is a master bread baker and teacher, illustrating texture, color and flavors through her craft. In fact, she sometimes raises funds for organizations in Chatham County through bread making classes held in her Fearrington Village neighborhood. Donna creates a welcoming, homelike atmosphere in the kitchen, drawing in guests, volunteers and staff with her giddy, detailed descriptions of the delicacies she is baking that day. We are so fortunate to have this joyful spirit in the house every Tuesday morning!
Carol is a self-avowed behind the scenes worker bee – a true understatement if you knew all that she does at Family House! What you may not know about her is that she uses her keen organizational skills to keep our guest and locked pantries in order. Her thoughtful attention to detail ensures food gets used before it goes bad, and that guests have access to a variety of food and a well-stocked pantry. When Wish List items are donated, Carol goes through the donations, checking expiration dates on edible items and shelving them accordingly. She is well-versed on the true shelf life of food items and is an arch enemy of dented cans. She is busiest around the holidays when donations are plentiful, often working double and triple shifts to get everything shelved and stored in an orderly and timely fashion. Carol also efficiently handles the weekly haul from Trader Joe’s, sorting through the boxes and putting out fresh fruit on the counters. Her warmth and kindness to House guests are a key part of the sense of community and generosity that guests experience at Family House. We cannot imagine what our pantries would look like without her careful attention to detail!
On her volunteer application dated January 2008, Debbie wrote that she was good with people, outgoing and friendly. She is indeed very good with people, incredibly kind, patient and compassionate. After years of community volunteering with PTA, church, Scouts, Brownies and her neighborhood association, Debbie landed at Family House working the front desk on Wednesday afternoons from 3-6pm. During her front desk shift, many unexpected things happen – Debbie takes them all in stride with a smile and can-do attitude. She immediately puts guests at ease with her welcoming personality and warmth, helping them feel right at home and fortunate to be at Family House. Debbie has also represented the house at various hospital fairs, has assisted with Great Days of Service at Family House with her church, and has helped out with special events. There is nothing that Debbie wouldn’t do for Family House.
Anne is volunteer that anyone would be happy to have on their team. She is organized, cheerful and hardworking. For the past five years, she has been a member of the Thursday Laundry Team, as well as a regular meal provider group. Anne’s thoughtfulness, warmth and compassion are evident in her interactions with guests, staff and other volunteers. It is clear that she derives satisfaction from helping others and has done so with our house guests and within her laundry and meal team. If someone in the group needs help, Anne is the first to rally and offer a hand. She creates a warm and welcoming community wherever she goes. Anne has also volunteered to help with special events. She is a wonderful, much-valued member of our community of volunteers.