Nominated by Barbara Rozen
As an active volunteer in her community since the age of 12, Simone was frustrated with the lack of information and resources available for kids who wanted to volunteer in her community. There was no local website or resource specifically geared towards youth and family volunteerism. Simone's goal was to create http://www.stlouisvolunteen.com —a simple, green, paperless, postage free and user friendly resource for area youth, nonprofits and schools. Never having created a webpage before Stlouisvolunteen.com, she truly dove in blindly. With the success of the website and social media tools like Twitter and Facebook, Simone organized and created the first St. Louis Youth and Family Volunteer Fair. The Volunteer Fair is now an annual event hosted at The St Louis Magic House with over 25 family-friendly volunteer non-profit organizations recruiting student and families to volunteer. Over 3,000 youth and families have found volunteer opportunities though the website and Volunteer Fair. Simone is currently working on creating a national volunteen website http://www.volunTEENnation.com Youth are inspired by their peers. Simone truly spreads the spirit of community service. She continues to actively volunteer on her college campus, and in her community at an emergency children's shelter.
Nominated by Cyndy Anzek
Even mother nature cannot stop this inspiring woman. Doris came to work for our non-profit after her home was destroyed by hurricane Katrina and she was relocated not once but twice. She ended up in South Carolina, where we have been inspired by her motivation and passion for advocacy ever since. Doris has weathered her own health issues but has never once put herself first. Every day she comes to work and assists those with disabilities achieve their highest level of independence. She volunteers for a group called PAALS whose overall goal is to train assistance animals to help individuals with disabilities other than blindness or deafness. Doris is also the staff person we tend to go to when we have a consumer in crisis. Doris volunteers to assist with our annual "Love Shouldn't Hurt" workshop and provides a wonderful soft calming presence to those in crisis. I simply cannot count the ways in which Doris is an inspiration.
Nominated by Andrea Rich
For inspiration you have to look no further than my sister, Faye. She is the mother of three young men. Faye, who is 61, turned her life around after her older son’s diagnosis of leukemia. She has struggled her adult life with weight issues, trying various diets without success. After our mother died of pancreatic cancer, she ate for comfort. Walking tired her and her blood pressure was elevated. When her oldest son, a deputy and member of SWAT and K-Nine, was diagnosed with leukemia, my sister knew she had to get healthy in order to help him and his family. She began eating healthy, joined a gym and began to run. Sixty pounds later, she has helped organize our friends and family to join runs to raise funds for leukemia and pancreatic cancer research. She has made it her mission to do something constructive rather than wallow in sadness.