Recap of the 2018 St. Vincent de Paul Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of St. Vincent de Paul. Our Food Pantry is fully staffed and operated by volunteers. Volunteers serve two meals a day, every day, in our Open Hand Kitchen. Volunteers tutor children in the Family Success Center. Volunteers staff and operate the Clothes Closet on our campus. Volunteers paint walls, rake leaves, and sort donations.
On May 10, we proudly honored those who give so much to our clients and this community. The event was emceed by WHAS11’s Renee Murphy and awards were presented by Executive Director/CEO Ed Wnorowski and Director of Conference Affairs and Volunteer Services Donna Young.
We opened with Tasha Ferry’s heartfelt story of addiction and her path to recovery. Tasha was a client at our St. Jude Women’s Recovery Center and has since become a program aide at St. Jude’s.
The first award of the day was presented to Paul Kopey, our 2018 Lifetime Service Award winner. As a boy, Paul Kopey was introduced to service on home visits with his father. Now more than 80 years later, Paul is still involved with St. Vincent de Paul at St. Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church. Paul’s love for our mission will never be forgotten and his footprint will always be felt in our community.
We created the Father Timmel Award to recognize a church or faith-based group that volunteers regularly on campus. Teams from the Holy Spirit Conference serve in the Open Hand Kitchen, host movie nights at Ozanam Inn, provide a Halloween party for children living on campus and attending the Family Success Center, and volunteer at the Santa Shop. The Holy Spirit Conference truly goes the extra mile to make each person feel special and loved when they are at St. Vincent de Paul.
With the Pay it Forward Award, we honor a client that is giving back to the community as a volunteer in service to others. Janet Bowman is just such a person and you will find her on any given day in the Family Success Center. The moment you step through the door Janet is often the first person to greet you with her warm welcoming smile—just one of her many strengths she shares with all of us.
When food was our need, Dare to Care’s VP of Operations Dave Schlosser has always been there for St. Vincent de Paul and he is our Recipient of the Community Partner Award.
On December 12, 2017, a 48-inch water main broke and released millions of gallons of water onto the roads with levels reaching as high as 8 feet. 4,000 Louisville Water customers in our neighborhood, Shelby Park, were placed under a boil water advisory and faced weeks of cleanup. Just as staff were about to buy bottled water, Dave Schlosser calls and says, “I have three pallets of water on a truck. Where do you want us to deliver them?” With that call, Dave responded to a critical need, even before the people affected by the crisis could ask for help.
The Corporate Partner of the Year Award pays tribute to a business that has contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and resources to our mission. On their only day off, Pat’s Steak House including Pat Francis, Michelle Francis and the whole Francis family have brought smiles and those delicious meals to the Open Hand Kitchen making Sunday lunch special for our guests.
The Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to the mission of St. Vincent de Paul Louisville. Three years ago when Ken Kirn replied to an email from Donna Young asking for volunteers to work in the food pantry, little did he know what was in store for him. Every week Ken pick up orders, stocks the pantry, and helps our Smoketown and Shelby Park clients shop, all while looking for ways to streamline and improve the shopping experience. Ken recognizes the dignity in each of these pantry customers.
Please join us in thanking our honorees for their service to St. Vincent de Paul. Without them and the numerous other volunteers we could never serve so many that need it.