Most Treasured Volunteer Award
Celebrating Volunteers in Greater Cleveland’s Health and Social Services Community
The Most Treasured Volunteer Award is one of the awards presented annually by The Center for Community Solutions. The 2019 Awards event will be held during the Celebration of Human Services on Friday, October 25, at the Hilton Garden Inn & Gateway Conference Center. Nominations will be accepted May 6-June 28, 2019.
Award winners in 2018 were:
Mark Cline, Greater Cleveland Volunteers
“Disaster.” The word can strike fear in the bravest hearts, but for Mark Cline, disaster means he goes to work. For more than seven years, he volunteered with the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland’s Disaster Team. Even though he developed back issues from working very physical jobs over the years—including as a firefighter and EMT — he has made volunteering his mission. His work in a number of other roles with the Red Cross use his emergency training and experience. “When the team responds, we help people who, hours before, didn’t know what hit them.” He embodies the best of what the staff at Greater Cleveland Volunteers witness, appreciate and share about the diversity of volunteering.
LaCoya Head, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland
LaCoya Head is a youthful, energetic woman with a “can do” attitude. She sees a person in need and feels a responsibility to help. Her service with Catholic Charities includes, among other things, serving meals, packaging toiletries and assisting with fundraisers. LaCoya also began a ministry called “Pass It On.” She also crafts cards that include scriptures and positive messages, and gives them to anyone she sees struggling at the St. Elizabeth Center. She makes a point of knowing each person at the center by name and paying attention to each one’s mood. A simple card means a great deal for people who tend to feel invisible. LaCoya is wise, and recognizes life can be extremely challenging for people who are homeless and for those working with them. She is a beacon, a servant and a leader. She is the face of the next generation of servant leaders and is on the brink of an amazing life journey of helping others..
Kevin Hughley, Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
Introduced to the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities in 2017, Kevin Hugley’s impact at their Euclid Adult Activities Center has been invaluable. His job is to support a group of up to 20 individuals with developmental disabilities who volunteer at the McGregor Home, an independent and assisted-living facility. Kevin joins the volunteers in assisting with art and recreational activities. Kevin is dedicated, reliable, consistent, caring and compassionate, and he has the ability to build a good rapport with both the McGregor seniors and the volunteers. He is good at helping manage people and personalities, an invaluable skill for this type of assignment. Kevin’s work especially notable because although he assists individuals with developmental disabilities, he too has a developmental disability. He does not let that define who he is, or get in the way of contributing to the community. He’s described as a “big teddy bear” who is willing to help others in need. He inspires others to advocate for themselves, supports inclusive activities and has stepped out of his own comfort zone to
help and get to know new people.
Colleen Moran, Hospice of the Western Reserve
When Colleen’s father died in 1999, she and her mother began volunteering for Hospice of the Western Reserve. After losing her mother, Colleen decided to continue her volunteer service. While she assists with several projects, her primary role includes making weekly check in calls to patients and families. She faced an unusual challenge in that role – other team members said she “sounded like a robot” and might not be able to connect with caregivers or patients. Eager to give back and make a difference, Colleen willingly accepted coaching and actively sought out ways to develop her skills. She went from sounding like she was reading a script to becoming a happy, reassuring presence. She now provides support and creates relationships with hospice patients and their families. This took time, practice, courage and hard work. Colleen remains inspired by the words of the founder of the modern hospice movement: “You matter to the last moment of your life and we will do all that we can to not only let you die peacefully but to live before you die.” She does all she can to embrace patients and their loved ones.
Terri Noll, Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio
Terri was inspired to volunteer after her father passed away and has been a part of the Visiting Nurse Association of Ohio since 2009. Terri is part of the Eleventh Hour Companionship program, which is rooted in the hospice philosophy that no person should die alone. Volunteers are asked to make themselves available on short notice to share the last hours of a hospice patient’s life. For Terri this means sitting vigil and provide a loving, compassionate presence. She has completed 51 assignments in the past nine years, getting to know each patient by reminiscing with them about the past and trading memories. She makes them know they are special. She massages patients’ shoulders, feet and arms – understanding that the power of touch can go a long way. Terri represents the gold standard for hospice volunteers, and also volunteers at two nursing homes as well. She leads by example and trains all new VNA hospice volunteers. Terri is an exceptional volunteer who does everything with kindness, generosity and gentleness.