Happy National Volunteer Week!
In honor of National Volunteer Week, we wanted to take this time to shine a light on our Volunteer Excellence Award Recipients of 2020. These volunteers embodied the Red Cross throughout 2020 and the mission work being done.
Biomedical Achievement – ANDREW LEE
Andrew was exceptionally helpful to Blood Services in 2020 through the COVID environment. He provided great insight and solutions to the education sector of blood donation, and even created a PSA for youth as a reference as they participated in the challenge to help address concerns with the decrease in blood donations.
He helped the program immensely by recruiting youth donors to donate, volunteering at drives, enthusiastically providing support and ideas at any time to both blood reps and potential donors. Andrew shows incredible communication skills and the ability to educate in an uncertain time.
International Services – VICTOR GRIGORYAN
Victor demonstrates innovation and extraordinary efforts in meeting the needs of clients by being a dedicated, thorough, creative and passionate Restoring Family Links caseworker. He uses his creativity to find solutions to even the most complicated of cases to ensure the client’s needs are met successfully. He shows great enthusiasm for promoting RFL to individuals in the Armenian community, connecting with his own community. Victor is a true example of what perseverance and collaboration look like.
Service to the Armed Forces – RHONDA SPARKS
There is no question about Rhonda’s commitment to serving and assisting the military community in LA Region. She shows true dedication and innovation in meeting veteran and military families’ needs, especially through COVID-19. She has helped families acquire needed school supplies, has made and distributed face masks at the VA hospitals and has delivered Thanksgiving Turkey dinners for service members; she clearly goes above and beyond.
Rhonda exudes collaboration, motivation, empathy and kindness. Her actions are heart-felt and impactful and shows the ability one Red Crosser can have on hundreds of people.
Outstanding Youth Services – WENDY WANG
As an Executive Board member for the past 3 years, Wendy, with their leadership skills and determination, has encouraged and motivated her team to continue working to fulfill the Red Cross Mission during this pandemic by inspiring her team to create innovative, virtual activities for LA Youth. Their virtual events engage almost 300 youth!
She is always willing to help community whether as a Youth First Aid Services member, Sound the Alarm volunteer, creating care packages for deployed volunteers or Leadership Development Camp Staff member. Her commitment to the Red Cross and its mission is tremendous and uplifting.
Disaster Preparedness and Response Volunteer Award – KEVIN AUSTIN
As a multi-faceted Disaster volunteer working in Casework, DAT, Government Relations, Recovery (to name a few), Kevin embraces the clients’ needs, and mission of the Red Cross always. Throughout his 5 years, he has mentored many and is very respected in his volunteer capacities – everyone loves working with him!
2020 saw Kevin working non-stop on every major DR, and with every local agency, with his incredible knowledge and perseverance. His attention to detail, his collaboration and communication, his empathy, make him an outstanding volunteer and we are so lucky to have him.
Volunteer Leadership – CRAIG RENETZKY
With 36 years of Red Cross service, Craig leads with an open mind, resiliency and collaboration. From stepping up as Lead for the LAUSD Feeding program to being Job Director for Lake Fire and Bobcat, this volunteer exudes humanitarianism through his encouragement, support, patience and kindness. He listens actively to his teams and jumps feet first into the grind with them.
He desires to build a stronger organization as well as ensure we are advocates for the communities we serve. He shows his passion for the Red Cross mission through his actions and inspires others to do the same.
Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service – PAULA PRUNER
With 16 years of service, Paula means so much to a whole lot of people. Whether working in Disaster Cycle Services or Biomedical Services, she is diligent, knowledgeable, selfless, hard-working and incredibly kind. Her phone calls brighten your day!
She is the driving force behind Territory 1 Sheltering surveys, but never hesitates to step in and help other territories with call-downs or engagement. Her care for her work is inspiring and motivating. There is simply not enough time to dictate everything she contributes to the Red Cross and LA Region – just know, we could not be successful without her.
Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership – BARBARA COLWELL
Barbara has contributed more than 25 years of service to the Red Cross. They manage an entire program and team that serves thousands and in a year like 2020, they worked tirelessly to ensure all were supported and well.
As the lead for Disaster Mental Health Barbara is invaluable. She mobilizes, activates, organizes, assesses, supervises, motivates and seems to always be available. She is a shining star, an incredible teacher, a supportive co-worker, and a welcoming friend. We witnessed the astounding job she did in 2020 and applaud her with a standing ovation.
Thank you to all our award recipients and those that nominated and recognized these fearless leaders for their outstanding work.
We would also like to acknowledge all the amazing volunteers that were nominated by employees and peers for their incredible contributions and commitment. The work of the Los Angeles Region is through the trusted and collaborative efforts of all. We thank you for your time, energy and open hearts
Leigh Ann Fernstorm
Service to the Armed Forces
Clara Barton Honor Award for Meritorious Volunteer Leadership
Dr. Mark Chung
Disaster Preparedness & Response Volunteer
Outstanding Youth Services Volunteer
Special Citation for Exceptional Volunteer Service
Mimi Teller Rosicky
Volunteer Leadership Award
Cary Van Ausdall
Missed VolX? You can watch the Volunteer Excellence Awards video here
We wish we could be together during National Volunteer Week and express our continued gratitude for your work in person and with hugs. The light is at the end of the tunnel! From all of us here in LA, thank you!