For Immediate Release
630.682.3846 Ext. 2310
Director of Development
630.682.3846 Ext. 2220
DuPage PADS Announces Volunteer of the Year Award Winners
(Wheaton, IL) In recognition of National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2012, DuPage PADS requested volunteers to submit nominations for the Inaugural Volunteer of the Year Award for their fellow volunteers in two categories: Adult and Youth (age 13 to 18). A committee comprised of DuPage PADS’ senior leadership selected the winners: Allan Carter, Adult Winner and Desiree Faulkner Watson, Youth Winner. Winners were awarded plaques and given special recognition.
“We know that we could not provide all of our services without the tremendous support of our volunteers. It was inspiring to hear their stories, especially those of Allan Carter and Desiree Faulkner Watson,” says Carol Simler, DuPage PADS Executive Director.
Allan Carter has volunteered at Congregation Etz Chaim in Lombard for more than ten years and ensures the site runs smoothly by picking up donated food, coordinating meals and running the kitchen. Carter uses fresh produce and meats to create delicious and nutritious meals. In addition to being the head chef, Carter finds deals on necessities ranging from t-shirts, socks, toiletries and home furnishings and makes purchases for DuPage PADS clients. Nominators wrote, “He knows many of our guests’ preferences (be it for hot sauce or a vegetarian meal) and prepares their special meals; he fulfills special requests (like clothes for a job interview) and is always there to provide guests what they need.” Carter received his plaque in front of the members of Congregation Etz Chaim, where he is a respected member and Sunday School teacher.
Youth winner, Desiree “Desi” Faulkner Watson volunteers at St. Alexis Catholic Church in Bensenville to prepare the site and serve dinner. Desi sweeps floors, sets up pads, cleans up and does whatever task is needed. What makes her an outstanding volunteer is her dedication to sitting and talking to participants, paying special attention to those who are especially alone, regardless of their appearance. One nominator wrote, “She sees more than a homeless person – she sees a heart…She is not overbearing, just friendly with a warm smile…There are good teenagers in our society and this is an exceptional one!” Desi received the award as a surprise during class at York High School in Elmhurst.
This award was well-received. “Volunteers are truly the heart and soul of our organization and we created this award to demonstrate how much we value their time, dedication and commitment to our mission. We will continue this annual tradition,” Simler added. Other volunteers received honorable mentions including: Sue Baez, Paul Brose, Erik Engel, Judy De Simone Kuehn, Mark Gaffney, Jan Happel, Tom Henry, Alex Miller, Dianne Niemann and Lynn Zychowski.
DuPage PADS, founded in 1985, is the only organization in DuPage County working exclusively to end homelessness. DuPage PADS couples interim/overnight and permanent supportive housing solutions with comprehensive support and employment services to assist people to work toward rebuilding their lives. The administration offices are located at 601 W. Liberty Drive, Wheaton, IL 60187. Additional information can be obtained by contacting DuPage PADS at 630-682-3846 or at www.dupagepads.org.