The Triangle Nonprofit & Volunteer Leadership Center

Volunteer of the Week

Brandon Williams

Charles Hamilton Houston
Foundation, Inc.

As a member of the Board of Directors, Brandon Williams works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Brandon also Co-Chairs the Fundraising Committee.

11/28/22 -As Treasurer of the Board of Directors, Kenneth works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Kenneth also serves as Co-Chair of the Finance Committee and is a member of the Marketing Committee.

11/21/22 -Aaron Taylor serves as a Career Prep Coach for the Young Men of Excellence Program of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation, Inc. He enthusiastically attends and sometimes leads weekly professional development and tutorial sessions to provide encouragement, empowerment, instruction, and one-on-one consultation to boys of color in middle and high school, as they research and explore career options to develop relevant career competencies and soft skills. Aaron helps students to make informed decisions to help them identify and realize their career goals and maximize their academic success, graduate high school, and enroll in and thrive in college. He also provides practical insight on career experiences that support, inspire, and inform the students about the skills needed to pursue higher education and the best-fit post-secondary option.

11/14/22 – Marco Zarate’s journey to invest in the future of Hispanic students started in the late 1990’s when he co-founded the North Carolina Society of Hispanic Professionals (NCSHP), with the mission of promoting education among Hispanic youth in North Carolina. He has served as President of NCSHP from 2001 to 2020. Under his leadership, NCSHP has served more than 17,000 Hispanic students from more than 50 school systems in the state by offering scholarships, seminars, mentors, tutors, motivational presentations, and the annual Hispanic Educational Summit. The NCSHP has also: awarded more than $570,000 in college scholarships to 440 Hispanic students; in partnership with Wake County Public Schools, implemented the ¡Gradúate! Program, an after-school program for at-risk Hispanic high school students; launched the “TuPortalSTEM” initiative in partnership with the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to encourage Hispanic students to participate in STEM opportunities and pursue STEM careers; and promoted “Your Life, Your Future, Your Destiny … is Now… Stay in School” awareness campaign in every county of North Carolina. Marco has been instrumental in raising more than $2.5 million to benefit Hispanic students in North Carolina.

11/7/22 – Lynn Sullivan is being recognized posthumously as a tribute to her extraordinary contribution as a volunteer. Part-time Legal Aid attorney Judge Craig B. Brown (Ret.) worked on the Second Chance Project, helping clients restore driving privileges. Because the Judge is legally blind, he was unable to fully navigate online systems. Lynn Sullivan began volunteering with Legal Aid and helped the Judge by being the eyes that he needed to improve his legal practice. Lynn handled all written documents, documented phone calls, and drafted emails. She provided transportation and walking assistance so Judge Brown could attend NC DMV driver’s license hearings throughout the Triangle. Even through the first year of the pandemic, Lynn continued to volunteer with Judge Brown via phone and email. Judge Brown said: “She has a tremendous work ethic. When I came to Legal Aid in 2013, I was just picking myself up off the mat after some healthcare issues. She truly helped me get back fully on my feet to practice the joy of the law! I am so thankful for her help.”

We extend our sincere condolences to Lynn’s family and friends. May she live on in our memories.

10/31/22As a member of the Board of Directors, Brian Robinson works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men. Brian provides legal and fiduciary oversight for the Foundation in conjunction with other board members.

10/24/22The Disability Awareness Council enables individuals to exercise their human rights and ensures that all people with disabilities are fully integrated into their communities. Volunteers such as Charles support these efforts in a variety of ways. During this period of COVID-19, Charles often spent an 8-hour day simply delivering hot meals from restaurants to those needing additional nutrition. During the recent elections he ran errands, getting essentials for voters while they waited in line to cast their votes. He drove people with various disabilities to polling sites and waited for them to vote. He helped people with grocery shopping, home repairs, and lawn maintenance. Since his stroke and partial sight loss, Charles expressed the need to give back some of what others had given to him: a helping hand and compassion. To sum it up, Mr. Charles A Williams’ attitude about giving through volunteering simply means the more we give, the happier we feel.

10/17/22For over five years, Jennifer Thomason was a weekly Meals on Wheels (MOW) of Orange County delivery driver, partnering with a friend to deliver meals every Monday. When operations were reduced due to COVID-19 restrictions, Jennifer joined the MOW Board of Directors. While participating in Board meetings, she decided to create a Volunteer Committee to help connect the Volunteer Coordinator with a team of people who wanted to help show appreciation to volunteers. This committee also worked to figure out ways to recruit new volunteers during the pandemic and in the future, help the Volunteer Coordinator with various projects, and come up with fun, new ideas to help volunteers feel important and connected. Her service has encouraged MOW volunteers to stay positive and continue volunteering, even during the presence of COVID-19. Jennifer is kind, patient and dedicated — and a shining star.

10/10/22Marie Hopkins has been a volunteer at the SPCA of Wake County for over 7 years and in those 7 plus years, she generously donates 30-40 hours of her time per week, sometimes more.  She graciously helps by caring for the cats and small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and hamsters. She puts a tremendous amount of time and effort into making sure that the areas are spotless and clean.  She is also an extraordinary advocate for these pets and helps educate potential adopters and visitors interested in them. Marie never asks for recognition but she has always been the first to jump in and help another volunteer or staff member with whatever needs to be done, whether that’s cleaning cages, helping staff do other tasks or doing multiple loads of laundry. Due to her unwavering work ethic, perfect attendance and reliability, and always positive attitude, SPCA’s Director of Volunteers stated, “We would be truly lost without her. We have lost count of how many pets Marie has helped find homes for, how many cages she has cleaned, and how many other volunteers she has trained to help serve homeless pets in our community. We are truly lucky to have Marie as a volunteer, friend and advocate.”

10/3/22Teon serves as a Career Prep Coach for the Young Men of Excellence Program of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation, Inc. He enthusiastically attends and occasionally leads weekly virtual professional development and tutorial sessions to provide encouragement, empowerment, instruction, and one-on-one consultation to boys of color in middle and high school as they research and explore career options to develop relevant career competencies and soft skills. Teon works with students to make informed decisions to help them to identify and realize their career goals and maximize their academic success, graduate high school, and enroll in and thrive in college. Teon also provides practical insight on career experiences that support, inspire, and inform the students about the skills needed to pursue higher education and the best-fit post-secondary option.

9/26/22For over ten years, Rosa Chrismon has been one of SAFE Haven for Cats’ best volunteers. With over ten hours per week committed to the shelter, she is a “total operations” volunteer. She organizes “goodie bags” for the adoption program, serves as an adoption counselor, and helps clean the quarantine areas. She has been a foster, a “Tabby Cabby” driver, a beta tester for a scheduling system, a peer reviewer for new process documents for volunteers, and a strong advocate for animal welfare in general. There’s nothing Rosa won’t do for the cats and for SAFE Haven. She never hesitates to take on an opportunity. Rosa is a truly gifted and passionate lady! 

9/19/22 – Larry is the Founder, President, and CEO of the Thomas Mentor Leadership Academy, and serves as its Director of Volunteers. This organization mentors young men between the ages of 9 and 18 who are being raised by a single parent, legal guardian, or grandparents. He engages speakers to discuss topics such as racism, community violence, peer pressure, self-image, and daddy rage. An Army veteran himself, he recruits other veterans to share their knowledge and skills with the mentees, and personally mentors a group of high school students, instilling self-confidence, decision making, discipline, and community service in the young men. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he spearheaded a fundraiser that raised more than $11,000 needed to enter five mentees into a national reading program called the Rising Voices Virtual Book Club and to purchase laptops for mentees. As a retired Army veteran, Larry understands service to people, community and country. 

8/29/22 – As a Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Charles Mitchell provides leadership and works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Charles also serves on the Executive, Program, and Marketing Committees.

8/22/22 – Walden’s leadership skills and tireless efforts have helped the Orange County Disability Awareness Council (OCDAC) address disability and equal access issues in the community. His greatest strength is assisting others faced with access issues associated with reading materials and sighted guide assistance. Often, his attention to detail identifies needs for additional services that may have been overlooked. Walden volunteered in OCDAC’s office supporting clients who needed help submitting social security benefit applications and looking for social services resources. When paratransit services were unavailable, he gave blind or physically challenged clients a ride home. He also sets up displays for outside events, breaks them down, and returns them to the office. Walden has overcome barriers associated with autism to become an outstanding volunteer for OCDAC. 

8/15/22 – Since 2016, David Bormann has been a mainstay Habitat for Humanity volunteer on construction sites and in the warehouse. As a “green hat”, he is a go-to volunteer who dedicates two or more days a week to the construction efforts. He consistently provides quality work while working independently and proves to be an excellent team member. Dave is a crucial leader with other volunteers, teaching those who are inexperienced how to successfully complete tasks from framing to siding to deck building. Additionally, he mentors some of our AmeriCorps team members, helping equip others to be effective builders. Dave is known for his flexibility and willingness to do whatever is needed. His dependability and hard work supports our mission to provide affordable housing to our families.  

8/8/22 – Judy Adams is a Meals on Wheels Durham superstar. She has been a dedicated volunteer for almost four years. She spends an average of 5+ hours a week delivering three routes and making Wellness Calls. Judy has driven over 700 miles this past year delivering meals to homebound seniors and made hundreds of Wellness Calls to check in on them and to help them feel less isolated.  She delivers multiple days of the week and is dedicated to making those Wellness Calls every Friday.  She’s volunteered for over 214 shifts and she’s one of the first to sign up for extra activities.   Most recently she joined other Meals on Wheels Volunteers who picked blueberries on a Saturday morning that were being donated to our Seniors.  As if that’s not enough, she volunteers with other non-profits other days of the week.  She is a true SUPERSTAR!!!!  To learn more about volunteering with Meals on Wheels view this LINK.

7/25/22 – As President of the Assistance League, Barbara successfully shepherded its members through the start of COVID-19 and helped transition the group to virtual interactions. She is involved in all aspects of the organization, including: Strategic Planning, By-Laws, President Emeritus Group, Philanthropic Programs, and Finance Committees. Barbara also continued to work in the trenches in 2020, working regular shifts at the A-Z Thrift Shop, Assistance League’s major fund-raising program. She also put her sewing skills to work by sewing quilts for families struggling with homelessness, and helping create masks for hospital workers, senior living facilities, and mask drop-off areas. Barbara helped cook meals for women in need and assembled snack kits for students displaced by the McDougald Terrace apartment closure. She co-coordinated Operation School Bell School, the League’s signature philanthropic program.

7/11/22 – As a member of the Board of Directors, Steffen McGhee works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Steffen also serves on the Program and Marketing Committees.

6/27/22 – Bob Meadows has been a volunteer for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina since 2014. When COVID-19 affected normal operations, he began volunteering every Tuesday through Saturday, working in the Food Bank warehouse around 29 hours a week. When needed, he is put in charge of the volunteer group. He can be trusted to lead others and does it well. In addition to physically working in the warehouse, Bob made tremendous additions in terms of volunteer engagement. One example is the Food Bank Olympics. He collected a group of Food Bank staff and regular volunteers (National Guard members) to host a morning of Olympic Food Bank events based on speed and accuracy. He planned the events and provided team shirts, a playlist with Olympic music, and medals of bronze, silver, and gold for each team.

6/20/22 – As a diabetes educator, Barbara provides encouraging advice to the patients of Urban Ministries of Wake County: Open Door Clinic. She exhibits respect when discussing adopting better dietary content, timing of eating and insulin administration, administering insulin and other diabetic medications, and encouraging an active lifestyle with individuals. She was a key contributor in the standardization of diabetes education curriculum issued through the organization. She eagerly adopted the Clinic’s electronic health record and learned how to use it to its full capacity. During COVID-19, Barb was one of the Clinic’s first volunteers who agreed to continue her practice through telehealth patient visits. This past year, she was instrumental in recruiting and training an additional volunteer diabetic educator.

6/13/22 – Having only been a member of Assistance League of the Triangle Area for a little over one year, Cora Shores jumped in headfirst to chair donation pick-ups for the A-Z Thrift Shop, the Assistance League’s primary funding source. This is a monumental job, coordinating volunteers to collect furniture and other items that are often too big for those donating to bring to the shop themselves. This task not only involves locating vehicles to pick up the items but also finding people to do the heavy lifting. Cora is there for the entire trip, including placing the newly donated items on the shop sales floor. She also helps manage and maintain the linen section of the shop and volunteers at the shop on a regular basis. Without Cora’s involvement in the A-Z Thrift Shop, Assistance League would not be able to meet its goals for helping women, children, and families in the Triangle area.  

6/06/22 – As a member of the Board of Directors, Xavier works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Xavier also serves on the Program Committee.  

5/30/22 – Jane is a dedicated volunteer for the Daughters of the American Revolution. As State Chair of the Project Patriot Committee, she asked NCDAR members to donate items for 145 halfway boxes for the submarine USS North Carolina SSN 777. Halfway boxes are care packages given to sailors prior to deployment. During a celebration to mark the halfway point of their deployment, the sailors open their boxes. Enough support was raised to fill the 145 boxes for the crew as well as provide a halfway celebration for their children. Jane initiated a partnership with Mary Kay’s cosmetics director to provide skin protection products for servicewomen. She is actively involved in events at the Durham VA Medical Center, where she created programs for Veterans Day and Vietnam Veterans Day. Jane assisted in collecting and delivering NCPack4Patriots donations to the VA Medical Center, sending cards, ornaments, and stockings to veterans for the holidays, and helped with the Durham Vets-to-Vets fundraiser to help pay for training of rescue dogs to be paired with veterans. She is now the state chaplain, a post she was elected to in May 2021 at the NCSDAR State Conference.

5/16/22 – Welcome Baby quickly adjusted its many programs to restricted in-person contact when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. We had to make the rapid transition to the virtual world, to be able to promote the new COVID-adapted services to families. A team of four journalism and public relations students were recruited from UNC Chapel Hill’s APPLES service-learning program to assist with marketing services through the Welcome Baby’s website and social media. The students worked tirelessly to update the website by highlighting the revamped COVID-19 service and adding a comprehensive Spanish page to reach more diverse audiences. In addition, they planned, filmed, and edited two professional, informative videos that were posted on the organization’s Facebook page and other social media platforms as a creative way to engage and inform families. 

5/09/22 – Melanie Loury is the team leader for the Litter Box Team and the Pet Food Pantry at SAFE Haven for Cats. The Pet Food Pantry provides free pet food, for three months or less, to Wake County pet owners who cannot afford to feed their pets. Melanie designed the work sheet and formula for pet food distributions based on weight and number of pets in the household. She has collected data regarding the zip codes that are served, along with yearly totals for the number of pets and families assisted. Melanie also made masks to distribute to those in need, along with the guidelines from the CDC on COVID-19. She is extremely dependable, meticulous in her work, and goes above and beyond what is needed. She takes ownership of her responsibilities and leads with confidence. Melanie is a game changer!

5/02/22 – As a member of the Board of Directors, Jonathan Jerkins works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men of color. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Jonathan also serves on the Program Committee.

04/25/22 – Shiloh Restoration Church, Inc. is a faith-based organization created by refugees and immigrants. The organization strives to help people find solutions to problems, empower youth to be positive change agents, and become a blessing to the community. Rev. Felix develops and implements activities that increase awareness of the organization and its mission. He works to empower youth throughout the community to become more aware of local issues, realize their individual capacity, and take personal action to make positive change. Amid the pandemic Felix continued to educate youth on alcohol, COVID-19 prevention, and career awareness. He distributes food on a weekly basis and donates face masks, hand sanitizer, and other hygiene supplies to refugees and immigrants. In 2020, Felix helped over 83 people find full-time employment. 

04/18/22 – When Matt Newton interviewed to volunteer with the Ronald McDonald House and learned of the challenges associated with facility maintenance, he offered his valuable skills. He paints and makes repairs, often adding personal touches such as a fresh lampshade or electrical covers to ensure that the House is comfortable for the families served. He created new ways to organize tools and materials to help the House work more effectively. When COVID-19 hit and the onsite volunteer program paused, Matt was one of the only volunteers allowed to continue because his work was so critical to ongoing operations. He recruited additional key talent to help complete even more quality work quickly. He assisted in fundraising efforts, generating meaningful financial support by sharing his passion for the House with people in his network. His supervisor Cathy Hall says Matt is “essential to the work we do!”

04/11/22 – A mason at St. James Lodge, Andrew Holland is responsible for the official partnership between Prince Hall Masons of NC and the Alzheimer’s Association, to conduct outreach and engagement with the African American community. He is also a key volunteer and leader with a grant received through Emory University in partnership with the Prince Hall Masons. The purpose of this study is to design and test a distance-delivered training program for unpaid Black American Caregivers of persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia disorders. The course Andrew is developing with Emory and Prince Hall staff focuses on the key competencies needed to succeed in “caregiving while Black” during a pandemic and crisis. He has been involved with developing a prototype CaRE course, a culturally appropriate caregiver training and education course addressing caregiving 101, risk management, safe home, health care navigation, and self-care competencies. 

04/04/22 – As a member of the Board of Directors, Chris works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary resources of funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men of color. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Chris also serves on the Program and Marketing Committees. 

03/28/22 – After completing an internship with the Conservation Team at Piedmont Wildlife Center (PWC), Jenna Williams decided to become a regular volunteer. In April of 2020, most of PWC’s full-time staff was furloughed and all volunteers were put on hold due to COVID-19 and the statewide lockdown. During this time, Jenna committed to the demanding task of feeding ALL the animals every Sunday from the end of March until the middle of June, when volunteers could return. She helped keep PWC running when many of the staff were furloughed and legally could not come in to take care of the animals. In addition, Jenna was instrumental in planning three Fly-Thru events. These events were held in place of PWC’s normal “open house” events with the animals. Participants drove through the Center’s parking lot, stopping to meet 7-8 animal ambassadors. Jenna helped create Q&A sections for the event’s website and committed to stay from setup to breakdown during every event. She is incredibly reliable, trustworthy, and a joy to be around. We are now proud to say she has joined our staff as a part-time Conservation Assistant!

03/21/22 – In a year of few “ups” and many “downs”, Suzanne Comstock helped pull Note in the Pocket through 2020. Although volunteer numbers dropped by 60% due to COVID, the organization was still able to clothe 5,000 people; more than ever before! This was in no small part due to Suzanne’s help. She brought her adult daughter in with her and they both spent many hours reorganizing the infant/toddler room. They also created new processes for infant/toddler clothing. Suzanne’s intelligence and endless energy improved previous techniques and efficiency with all of the infant/toddler clothes. She consistently comes in on the weekends when no one else is in the office. The staff arrive on Monday to full shelves and perfectly organized infant/toddler room. Suzanne is an AMAZING volunteer. 

03/07/22 – As Chair of the Board of Directors, Lakevious Battle provides leadership and works with other board members to establish the mission and direction of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation. He helps ensure that the Foundation has the necessary funds and leadership to implement its mission to provide a seamless continuum of programs and services to transform the academic and professional success of boys and young men of color. He works with other board members to provide legal and fiduciary oversight. Lakevious also serves as Chair of the Executive Committee and is a member of the Finance, Personnel, and Marketing Committees.

02/28/22 – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Urban Ministries of Durham (UMD) had to relocate its shelter residents to a local hotel. In April, faithful UMD volunteer Helen Trotter observed staff members making special breakfasts and lunches for delivery to the hotel. In May, she returned to volunteer, along with volunteer partner, Evelyn and eventually her daughter, Charlene. The pandemic dynamic trio was born, and their mission to make the breakfast and lunch bags for the hotel began. Together, they prepared over 200 meals daily for hotel residents. This continued for three months, until the residents were able to safely return to UMD’s modified shelter. Once the trio heard that UMD had 65 medically fragile residents at a new hotel, they began preparing breakfast and lunch bags for those residents. They  prepared an estimated 35,000 meals between May and December of 2020. The work that the trio has done with such care and consideration is inspirational.

02/21/22 – David McNeill has been a dependable weekly Study Buddy for over five years. The Study Buddies program offers academic support to children in grades K-12 who are experiencing homelessness and are residing at the Families Moving Forward (FMF) shelter. David remained with FMF in the transition to virtual Study Buddies, determined to continue supporting the children during the COVID-19 crisis. In order to be an effective virtual tutor, building a strong foundation of trust and kindness is paramount to keep the student engaged and committed to the program. This comes naturally to David. He is best described as kind and warm while also having the ability to be serious and respectful with the children, no matter their age. David is the kind of person who remembers things about his students and makes a huge effort to connect with them both academically and personally. 

02/14/22 – For the past six years, Pauline has been StepUp Durham’s Volunteer Coordinator. With a small team of paid staff, the organization relies heavily on volunteers. In 2020, Pauline managed 68 volunteers. She provided volunteer orientations and placed them in various roles such as training facilitators, mentors, resume builders, and mock-interviews. Because of her efforts, StepUp Durham has been able to grow and retain its volunteers base, even during the pandemic. Pauline’s attention to detail makes things run smoothly. She gives folks the things they need to thrive, and she fosters a community where everyone feels welcome and supported. In 2020, Pauline’s efforts enabled StepUp Durham clients to secure 116 job placements, and supported 29 families with emergency funding around COVID-related issues.

02/07/22 – Wendy has volunteered for the Orange County Disability Awareness Council since her retirement in 2015. During the past year of the pandemic, she prepared and delivered hot meals to families in need. Many people with disabilities were nourished by her generosity. When food bank supplies required to meet a disabled person’s needs were unavailable, Wendy purchased the supplies from local stores. She managed the travel arrangements for elderly clients so that they could receive COVID-19 vaccines. She provided support in multiple ways, including sorting and repacking donations, preparing hot meals, making deliveries, distributing literature, and recruiting additional volunteers. Wendy has earned the respect and gratitude of those she serves, fellow volunteers, her church family, her neighborhood residents, and her peers.

01/31/22 – Amidst teaching courses as a professor at NC State, Dr. Dan Graham spends one or two of his mornings per week picking up retail recovery from grocery stores and delivering it to CORA Food Pantry. In addition to picking up, delivering, and transporting hundreds of pounds of food per week to the Pantry, he sends helpful articles and event notices to keep the staff informed and encouraged. It is simply a joy to peer out the window and see Dr. Graham’s white van with the bumper covered in stickers, because we know he will lift everyone’s mood. His exclamation of “Hey buddies!” echoes through the Pantry and his positive energy is simply infectious. Dr. Graham deserves to be recognized as a stellar volunteer for his consistency, positive attitude and flexibility that uplifts while ensuring that the Chatham community receives food assistance.

01/24/22 – Cindy is committed to many service lines within the American Red Cross. Her willingness to volunteer at blood drives on a weekly basis during the COVID pandemic helped the organization to continue having those drives. With her presence, the Red Cross is able to greet donors and provide guidance, as well as take care of them post-donation to ensure their donation experience ends well. Cindy has also continued her commitment with the Disaster Action Team during COVID. This position helps families who have lost everything when their home has been damaged or destroyed by fire. Cindy provides immediate emergency relief through food, shelter, and clothing to the family and helps ensure that their physical and mental needs are addressed. She also volunteers on the Volunteer Services team and serves as the Recognition and Appreciation Lead for the 53 counties that make up the ENC Region of the American Red Cross.

01/10/22 – Justin is the District Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America’s MAWAT District. As District Chairman, he presides over a committee of volunteers who work on membership, manage Scouting programs for the youth, and raise money to support Scouting activities. In 2020, Justin also took on the Awahilli District. He works with 66 Scouting units and just under 1,000 Scouts from the ages of 5 to-21. During the COVID-19 restrictions, he helped the units find ways to meet virtually and in-person while following the CDC, BSA, and government guidelines. The Occoneechee Council asked Justin to co-chair a restructuring of the council from 10 to 4 districts. He invited volunteers from the entire council to join his committee and created a plan that would best serve the youth of Scouting.

12/13/21 -Robert has dedicated his time to the Adapted Cycling Program at Bridge II Sports (BIIS) since 2012. He primarily serves individuals who are visually impaired, amputees, individuals with spinal cord injuries, stroke survivors, and individuals with cerebral palsy. When the pandemic started, he ensured that athletes with visual impairments were staying active by personally delivering and setting up trainers that they could use to ride a bike in their home without assistance. Robert was there every step of the way, communicating safety policies to athletes and volunteers, training new volunteers, and creating an overall positive and encouraging atmosphere. Over the years, he has secured a bike shop sponsor to repair cycles, applied for several grants to buy new cycles, and tuned up the BIIS cycle fleet in his spare time.

12/6/21 – During normal operations, Catholic Parish Outreach Food Pantry is usually staffed Monday through Friday by 35 to 40 volunteers per day (from a pool of more than 350 volunteers). This all changed when the pandemic came to the US. The Food Pantry switched to curbside service and reopened with a greatly reduced volunteer group. This dedicated group of people was required to do the work of the 350+ volunteers using much more labor-intensive processes. They consistently performed on multiple days per week, in all weather conditions, varying volume levels, and with ever-increasing infection rates. They truly embody the Raleigh Diocese Catholic Charities mission of “Providing Help, Creating Hope, Serving All!” Due to their dedication, enough food was distributed to feed over 54,000 in 2020.

11/29/21 – Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary is a farm animal sanctuary that cares for over 100 rescued large farm animals. Chih-Wei Chuang is a core volunteer who has been going above and beyond for countless animals for many years. No job is too hard or too dirty: every week he drives over an hour to care for animals, clean stalls, and repair fences. He also manages the sanctuary’s website. He is a team player, is well liked, and mentors new volunteers. This past year, Chih-Wei drove through the night to rescue a potbellied pig. She survived thanks to him and emergency veterinary care and is now a healthy and happy girl! Chih-Wei is a loyal, hardworking, and compassionate individual who cares deeply about all animals that we share this earth with.

11/22/21 – After a successful 30-year career as an Executive Project Manager with IBM, Faye Sinclair offered InterAct her professional skills. She also offered her heart for the organization’s mission and the individuals and families it serves. In her volunteer role, Faye spends from 20-25 hours a week inputting monetary and in-kind donations, assisting with grant management, and implementing new software solutions that allow InterAct to capture data to better inform its decision-making. Over the past year, Faye has served as a Steering Committee Member of the Wake County Family Justice Center Strategic Initiative. Utilizing the Independent Standard’s value of volunteer time, Faye’s gift of time is valued at $297,531. However, Faye’s real contribution to InterAct is beyond measure!

11/15/21 – Iris Schwintzer has been a dedicated meal delivery volunteer with Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels since 2014. She is a dedicated, extremely generous person who absolutely LOVES to deliver meals to community members in need. Iris has a special relationship with the meal recipients and truly enjoys spending time checking in and visiting with them. She is an incredibly caring and patient volunteer. In addition to her regular weekly route, Iris is the “go-to” whenever a last-minute substitute driver is needed. Able and willing to fill-in with no advance notice, she frequently saves the day!

11/08/21 – DeWarren K. Langley serves as Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Foundation, Inc., an academic, leadership and professional development organization providing a continuum of programs, services and mentorship to educate, engage, empower and equip young men of color aged 11-18 with the strategies they need to secure socioeconomic success. Dr. Langley co-leads the Young Men of Excellence Program and established a funding partnership with the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, collaborating with North Carolina Central University School of Law to secure meeting space. He recruits College Prep Coaches and Career Prep Coaches, and coordinates bi-monthly college and career Development Workshops. In addition, he leads the Pathway to Opportunity Program for 120 students at North Carolina Central University, North Carolina A&T State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

11/01/21Phyllis Sullivan is one of Assistance League of the Triangle Area’s stars. In 2019, she co-chaired the Scholarship Committee and took the lead in communicating with applicants. Phyllis also coordinated two schools for Operation School Bell, was a member of the Strategic Planning, By-laws, President Emeritus Group, and Funds and Grants Committee, chaired the Finance Committee, volunteered at the A-Z Thrift Shop, provided meals for the women’s shelter, helped procure Wish List items for Oak Hollow transitional housing, and chaired Community Volunteers. When ALTA created the Community Volunteer Coordinator role, Phyllis took that position and developed the process and its associated forms. She is an excellent example of how an individual can make an impact on their community by performing selfless, life-giving service.

10/25/21 – Anne Lemmons is an extraordinary advocate for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. She was an inaugural member of InterAct’s Court Navigator program, accompanying survivors to court for domestic violence protection order hearings. While working in this program, Anne identified a need for resume building workshops, which she implemented as part of the shelter and case management programs. She has become the go-to person for counselors when their clients need assistance writing cover letters, building and editing resumes, and applying for jobs. Beloved by staff and clients alike, Anne has taken initiative to fill gaps that hadn’t been identified. She gives comfort and support to survivors and gives them skills to create their safer future.

 

10/18/21 – As the chapter leader of A Moment of Magic UNC, Julia Drahzel is responsible for leading nearly 100 volunteers who provide medically vulnerable children with creative programming that fosters imagination, friendship, and hope. Julia trains her college student volunteers on a variety of topics including HIPAA, volunteer tactics, and the emotional toll that working with critically ill children can have on the volunteer. She is responsible for locating funding opportunities, interviewing and training the organization’s UNC Executive Board, establishing hospital and nonprofit connections, and fine-tuning the services provided to children. Julia is a standout volunteer and an excellent leader of the organization’s North Carolina chapter.

10/11/21 – The Museum of Durham History is a 21st century museum that uses stories about people, places and things to foster curiosity, encourage further inquiry and promote an understanding of the diverse perspectives constituting the Durham community and its history. Tom Clayton has been with us since the beginning of 2019 and quickly became invaluable to our museum community. His educational background in history instruction fits perfectly within our mission. His primary task has been to develop new content for our “Tell Us What We Left Out” exhibit, which invites visitors to use Post-It notes to ask questions or suggest topics of Durham history they would like to see in the museum. Staff and volunteers follow up on suggestions by curating “micro exhibits.” Viewing time has increased and Tom’s research on each subject matter has started social interaction and conversations that deliver on our mission of teaching history through story telling. Tom is also helping us research an outdoor exhibit about the museum’s property, stemming from visitor inquiries about 500 W. Main Street and the old bus transfer station building that the museum is housed in. We are lucky to have him share his passion, expertise, and time to make our museum a better experience for our visitors and staff alike.

10/4/21 – Kimberly Logel volunteers in the Ronald McDonald Family Room at UNC Hospital. During her shifts, she creates a warm and welcoming environment for families of inpatient children who are seeking a respite from the hospital setting. Whether it is brewing a fresh pot of coffee or sitting with a parent as they process a new situation, Kimberly does whatever she can to make family members feel at home. In 2019 she also took on the role of volunteer trainer, onboarding new volunteers who will continue her work in comforting families. In addition, Kimberly serves on the UNC Children’s Hospital Patient & Family Advisory Board, using her experience to advocate for families’ needs within the hospital.

9/27/21 – Lynne Smith has volunteered in the Welcome Baby Giving Closet since 2014. Welcome Baby is a program of Durham County Cooperative Extension and has delivered education and resources to residents for over 30 years. Families that are expecting and/or have children under five years of age (not yet in Kindergarten) may access our services. We offer positive parenting classes, car seat safety classes, and a Giving Closet with free clothing for newborns up to age five years old, maternity clothing, shoes, breastfeeding supplies, diapers, and baby equipment. Lynne chips in and helps with new volunteer training and is always willing to assist with anything that needs completing. She is exceptionally organized and uses excellent time management skills when sorting and hanging clothes. Lynne’s dedication allowed the Giving Closet to provide clothing, shoes, and accessories to over 3,500 families in need in 2019.

9/20/21 – Howard Zellman is a dedicated, positive, extremely generous person who delivers meals every week to community members in need, always with a big smile! He is a willing substitute driver, and often asks if there are any upcoming openings. Some weeks he delivers meals every day, Monday through Friday. As a Meals on Wheels “trainer,” he frequently takes potential volunteers with him on his route. Most, if not all, of Howard’s trainees have decided to join the volunteer team. He is entertaining, funny, and has a great sense of humor. He spreads joy to everyone around him — Meals on Wheels clients, staff members, and other volunteers. Howard is a true gift to the program!

9/13/21 – Since becoming an active member of Hemophilia of North Carolina (HNC), Joseppe Vilchis has made a significant impact on several of its programs. By sharing his story with state and federal legislative representatives, Joseppe helped raise awareness with local and national leaders about the many obstacles people with a bleeding disorder face, and the importance of creating legislation that will support this community. A bilingual community member, Joseppe assisted HNC staff with important initiatives within the HNC Unión Latina Program for Spanish speakers. He provided translations of written materials, interpreted when needed, made phone calls to Spanish speaking members, and led a session at HNC’s 2019 Unión Latina Retreat. Joseppe uses his time and talents to benefit other HNC members and has become a leader in the community.

Your donation enables TNVLC to continue serving the greater Triangle area nonprofits & volunteers.

Thank you for supporting us this season of giving!

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