(above) Dinesa Thomas-Whitman, Director of Outreach, Advocacy, and Policy, honoring Kelsey Parks as Programs Volunteer of the Year
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) celebrated the contributions of all its volunteers April 11 at its’ annual Volunteer Appreciation event at the Hotel Maya, overlooking Queensway Bay in Long Beach. The event, which coincided with National Volunteer Week, drew more than 100 volunteers, staff members, partner families and donors.
The theme of the night, “Let service be your compass,” highlighted the ways volunteerism can steer a person’s course in this world and make an impact on others. “I can’t say it enough: we could not do this without you,” said Erin Rank, Habitat LA’s President and CEO. “We appreciate everything you do to make Habitat happen.”
Dinesa Thomas-Whitman, Director of Outreach, Advocacy, and Policy, presented the Programs Volunteer of the Year award to Kelsey Parks, who spent more than 300 hours last year working on our neighborhood revitalization programs. “I started volunteering and fell in love with the people and community,” Kelsey explained. Marina Garcia, Manager of Individual Giving, honored Kathy Vaughn as the Development Volunteer of the Year. “I always thought Habitat for Humanity was excellent at addressing a serious need,” said Kathy, who lends her talents to tracking critical volunteer information and supporting fundraising efforts.
David Freeman, General Manager of the Torrance ReStore, celebrated the contributions of ReStore Volunteer of the Year, Sally Griffin, noting her commitment to her volunteer duties, returning just one week after undergoing hip surgery. “I work with a great team and it feels great to be doing something useful,” said Sally. AmeriCorps Volunteer Coordinator Ben Benya presented the Volunteer Services Volunteer of the Year award to Brian Gross, who Ben described as setting the standard for the job of site host. When asked why he enjoys volunteering at Habitat, Brian explained “Every day is a new experience.”
Construction Volunteer of the Year, Bob Anderson, a longtime volunteer who recently took over the title of Sparky, our chief volunteer electrician, received his award from Juan Alfaro, Construction Production Manager/Quality Control. “I gave Habitat a try 18 years ago and I’ve been doing it twice a week ever since,” said Bob. Vicki Cunningham was awarded Finance Volunteer of the Year. Vicki not only celebrated her 10th year as a volunteer, but also her 10thyear winning this award.
Habitat LA Board Chairman John Manganiello was named the Executive Volunteer of the Year. Our Board of Directors generously donate many hours of their time to further our mission. Erin noted Manganiello’s many contributions, including supporting partnerships with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Bank of America, and joining Habitat LA’s recent Global Village trip to Mexico.
Each volunteer received President’s Service Award pins representing their 2018 volunteer service hours in Bronze (100-249 volunteer hours), Silver (250-499 volunteer hours), Gold (500 or more volunteer hours) and the President’s Call to Service Award (4,000 volunteer hours of service over a lifetime and beyond) categories.
With the support of all volunteers, we have accomplished so much this year and are on track to accomplish even more next year. Stay tuned as we gear up to celebrate our 30thanniversary and 1,000thhome build!
Click here to see photos from the event.