Announcing DuPagePads 2015 Volunteer of the Year
Two Volunteers Selected Out of 4,000!
“Thank you volunteers for spending your time with all of us: staying up late, waking up early, providing food, shelter and offering an ear. Everything done is greatly appreciated.” ~A DuPagePads program participant.
For the past four years in honor of National Volunteer Week, DuPagePads has requested peer nominations for our Volunteer of the Year Award. A committee selected the winners who were awarded plaques and given surprise recognition among their peers.
- Adult Winner: Gerald Massie;
- Youth Winner: Mario Jayes.
“What makes Gerald inspirational is his passion for service and his spirit of camaraderie,” one nominator wrote. As a Site Coordinator for Trinity Episcopal Church in Wheaton, Gerald Massie recruits and coordinates volunteers from his congregation. In addition to his clear communication style and thoughtful email reminders, Gerald often goes above and beyond when there is an identified need. He has done it all: covering shifts for volunteers who have last minute emergencies, picking up clean bedding from hospitals, providing extra food when needed and scrubbing sleeping pads. Consistently serving others out of a spirit of hospitality and care, Gerald even purchases birthday cakes for participants who are celebrating their birthday.
When asked why he volunteers for DuPagePads he said, “DuPagePads gives me the chance to work with some really wonderful people. When our church hosts a night for DuPagePads, upwards of 60 volunteers take part, all giving something of themselves one way or another. It inspires me to feel a part of a community that is committed to the welfare of others.”
14-year-old Mario helps set up the site, serves dinner, makes bag lunches for the next day and even helps move sleeping pads at the end of the season. Mario makes both program participants and volunteers feel welcome, “All the guests and volunteers know him and love him…Whatever he is asked to help with, he gladly jumps right in,” one nominator wrote.
When asked why he volunteers for DuPagePads he said, “I like making people happy. People I’m serving will tell me they walked two extra miles just to get to our site for the welcoming volunteers and delicious food. Hearing the difficult circumstances that people are in, I’m really amazed that anyone going through such hardships can show gratitude…I’m looking forward to turning 18 so I can take over as St. Isidore’s Site Coordinator.”
Volunteers are vital to DuPagePads mission to end homelessness. Last year the agency’s 4,000 volunteers donated 65,000 hours, equivalent to 31 full-time employees.
Currently, DuPagePads is recruiting volunteers for the summer months. Consider assisting today to help us end homelessness.