Volunteers' Choice Awards

Volunteers' Choice AwardsEach year at our Volunteers' Choice Awards, we are honored to recognize those among us who are making a difference in the lives of others. Volunteers are important to churches, nonprofits, associations, foundations and neighborhoods. Most of us have not stopped to think about this, but a great deal of what we take for granted would cease to exist in the absence of volunteers.

Volunteering provides many concrete benefits that have greater significance than financial remuneration. Research has shown that people who volunteer are generally happier, have a more positive outlook, live more gratefully and experience better health. Much has been written about what Harvard Medical Researchers have called the "Mother Teresa effect" -- stronger immune systems and lowered blood pressure as a result of giving oneself generously in the service of others. Volunteers find that they often re-order priorities as their volunteer work helps them to get in touch with what is most important. Rather than adding stress to their lives, they typically find that their lives become less stressful.

People who give their time and energy in the service of others often discover a greater depth in all their relationships. Volunteering fosters their continued personal growth as they come into contact with people of different perspectives, life experience, economic circumstances, cultural mores and religious affiliations. This transformation has the power to enhance all their relationships as they become more open, better listeners and appreciative of diversity.

Beyond the benefits for the individual, volunteering develops and strengthens community. It builds the social capital essential for the health of any society and it fosters trust and tolerance within a society. The understanding and the relationships developed through volunteering help to break down barriers between groups, enabling cooperative action on a variety of social needs. These volunteer networks contribute to the social capital of shared commitment and the common good. They create the groundwork for dialogue, for compromise and for consensus building -- all of which are essential to a democracy.

PAST AWARDEES

Vincent DePaul Awards - Sandra Miley

Vincent DePaul lived in 17th century France during a time of great turmoil, constant warfare and an ever-widening gap between the small wealthy class and those in poverty. Vincent was a bridge person with a gift for bringing people together. During his lifetime he transformed the face of the country. The sheer number of works he accomplished seems physically impossible unless his core strategy of effecting change through the power of relationships is understood. The Center for Spirituality at Work is animated by the spirit and strategy of Vincent DePaul which:

  • honors the dignity of every person in all circumstances
  • values the power of relationships for effecting social change
  • responds to problems as possibilities and roadblocks as opening new doorways
  • understands that disadvantaged people hold the blind side of the culture and have the capacity for making a great contribution to healing social ills

We are honored this year to recognize SANDRA MILEY. Sandra is an Associate of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. She is the animator of the new Denver Regional Associate Leadership team, and an ‘animator’ she is for everyone who meets her. She is a spark of energy, a ready smile, a person who makes you feel welcome the minute you are within the warmth of her gaze. You know what she believes because of the path she walks; her genuine compassion for anyone who suffers for any reason is evidence of her Vincentian heart. 

Sandra has experience with the health care system, Catholic Schools, the Conflict Center and the Hispanic Ministry office of the Catholic Archdiocese. In every setting, she has been the face that ensures that people in poverty and those living in fear feel welcomed. She also possesses the skills to organize and to challenge systems. Sandra is presently employed as a scheduling assistant to the archbishop and coordinator of Holy Trinity Center. 

Sandra exemplifies the two arms of love that Vincent de Paul described as the embrace of true service. She reaches out to others in charity as she is welcoming and compassionate towards everyone and quick to respond to immediate needs. She also reaches out in concern for justice, quick to challenge and work to change the systemic issues that keep people trapped on the margins. 

We are proud tonight to recognize Sandra Miley with the 2018 Vincent de Paul Award. 

Bridge Builders Award - The Equitas Project

The Bridge Builders Award recognizes those who unite people in poverty and people of privilege for the sake of the common good. This year we are proud to congratulate the efforts of THE EQUITAS PROJECT for its bridge-building work to end to mass incarceration of people with mental and behavioral challenges in the United States. 

By supporting efforts to raise public awareness and to implement sensible programming and policy, and by convening influential allies locally and nationally, The Equitas Project focuses collective problem-solving energy on managing mental and behavioral health challenges, and other challenges stemming from hidden disabilities and disadvantages. Their bridge-building work underscores the urgency of culture change and systems reform. They bring allies together and we have been privileged as an organization to participate in these conversations. We have also been privileged this year to benefit from their research and mental health expertise as we prepared our volunteers for advocacy at the state capitol. 

In coordination with the National Association for Public Defense and the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, Equitas convened public defense representatives from across the country for Course Corrections: National Public Defenders’ Summit on Mental Health & Criminal Justice in March, 2018. Equitas also co-hosted the 15th Annual NAMI Indiana Mental Health and Criminal Justice Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana on March 23. It is our honor to recognize their bridge-building work tonight. 

Valdez Award - Barb Ladrini

The Valdez Award is named in honor of Captain (Retired) Tom Valdez, former Programs Supervisor at DWCF. We deeply appreciate everything we learned from him and the way in which he fostered the growth of Making Choices at DWCF. When Captain Valdez retired, the Center for Spirituality at Work instituted the Valdez Award for Outstanding Service. 

This year’s recipient is BARB LADRINI. She is the fourteenth person to receive the Valdez Outstanding Service Award. Barb has been justice involved and that has given her a special sensitivity to the pain of separation from children, the reality of incarceration and the challenges of re-entry. 

Barb is a small business owner of her own wellness studio, a certified massage therapist, and an instructor with the Denver School of Massage Therapy. She is married, a mom and recently a home owner. 

Barb has been an outstanding volunteer this past year, teaching in the Making Choices program at DWCF, educating others through our speakers’ bureau, helping to train law students in advocacy with the Colorado legislature, and sharing her skills as a massage therapist with the students in our Soul Healing trauma care program. She was recognized by the League of Women Voters with a Woman to Watch award. We are honored tonight to present her with the Valdez Award. We know her to be a pearl of great price in the Denver community. 

Working Spirit Award - Care on Location founders Dr. Jonathan Savage, MD, and Maureen Dube-Savage

This award is given by the Center for Spirituality at Work to an individual who exemplifies a spirituality of work honoring the full dignity of the human person and understanding work as an individual’s participation in creative and healing activity in the world. A spirituality of work strengthens and enhances the social fabric. It builds the connections that enhance the quality of life for all people. By its very essence a spirituality of work is about right relationship. 

This year the Center for Spirituality at Work is proud to celebrate the Working Spirit of Dr. Jonathan Savage, MD and Maureen Dube-Savage, founders of CARE ON LOCATION. Dr. Jon paid attention over a process of many years as others would ask for advice on where or how to obtain the most appropriate care. It was through these questions, phone calls, facetime chats, and sidewalk consults that he realized how confusing, frustrating, and expensive the healthcare system was for most people. Many of these issues were relatively simple to solve, yet required significant time and money to address. Harnessing nearly 25 years of healthcare experience and filtering that experience through the eyes of the patient, Dr. Jon set to work to create a better way to access the healthcare system and improve the experience for patients. 

In 2015, the business idea was formed and in 2016, Care on Location was officially born. Through online private video chat, Care on Location provides minor medical evaluations and treatment. 

As they enter into their first anniversary of providing care, they are starting an outreach program and are connecting with non-profits to talk about how they can donate medical video visits to those in need. Care on Location believes that providing low cost, online medical evaluations will help people get the care they need, whoever and wherever they are in the state of Colorado. 

We have known Dr. Jon and Maureen for many years. Maureen is one of our Making Choices mentors. It is our honor tonight to recognize their Working Spirit which respects the dignity of all persons, expresses true community service, engages innovative approaches that make the world a better place, and commits to partnerships in fostering social transformation. You can learn more at careonlocation.com

Walk of Fame Awards

WalkOfFameIn Hollywood, the Walk of Fame is a series of sidewalks along both sides of a 15-block segment of Hollywood Boulevard and a 3-block segment of Vine Street that serves as a permanent public monument to the achievement of individuals in the entertainment industry. More that 2,500 5-pointed terrazzo and brass stars are embedded at 6-foot intervals over a combined 2 miles.

We have our own Walk of Fame. The individuals we recognize on the Walk of Fame all make significant contributions to the community. Each award recipient is recognized with their own replica tile of the terrazzo and brass stars in Hollywood.

Collaborative Role Models: Linda Rumbarger and Beth Anne Fisher 

Healing through Creative Expression: Stephanie White

Inspirational Service: Michelle Cawthra

Wise Elders: Betty Souza

Professional Excellence: Lt. Gayle Ross

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