The April 6 Volunteer Appreciation Event was, once again, a fun event with tasty food, live music (courtesy of Straight from the Hart, jazz players from the Hartt School of Music) and lots of recognition for our awesome volunteers.
This year’s award winners were Avon Old Farms School (School Volunteer Award), Emanuel Lutheran Church in Hartford (Faith Group Volunteer Award), Travelers Insurance (Corporate Volunteer Award) and Jesy Clausell (Superhero Volunteer Award).
In honor and memory of long-time volunteer Carolyn Arvidson, who passed away this January, we have re-named our annual Exemplary Volunteer Award to be the R. Regner and Carolyn S. Arvidson Exemplary Volunteer Award.
This year, the Exemplary Volunteer Award winner was Nancy Jacobs. Nancy lends her talent to Hands On Hartford numerous times through the week, covering the registration book at Community Meals as well as coordinating a dinner group once a month. Nancy also is a volunteer leader, training and guiding fellow volunteers at the MANNA Community Pantry while also engaging with staff for Pantry Dream team meetings and other Neighborhood and Pantry services initiatives. Nancy’s love for the community extends beyond the walls of Hands On Hartford. Her work with Christ Church Cathedral, Church Street Eats and Church by the Pond is well known. She is a person the community has come to both admire and count on in times of need.
We are so grateful for all of the men, women and children who volunteer their time with Hands On Hartford – volunteers are an integral part of the work we do and of our mission. To quote Reg Arvidson, “The vast majority of people I meet at the pantry are beautiful in spirit and soul: caring humble, and unselfish people who, through no fault of their own, are caught in a life that demands resources they lack. These people are my friends, and I regard my work with them as sharing, not giving…. My heart smiles when their faces smile, and we are both changed.” [Quote taken from Be the Change!, ed. Michelle Nunn, © 2006, by Hundreds of Heads Books, LLC]