Last week HAVEN held our annual Celebration of Strength where we recognize members of the community who really step up and take a lead in assisting HAVEN with our mission. Each year, we have the hard task of narrowing down our choices to just a few award recipients and this year was just as tough as it has been in the past.Â Our honorees for 2011 consist of a diverse group of individuals and corporations, all doing amazing work for others. Receiving our President’s Award was Allison Kaplan and the Michigan Young Farmer Coalition — the driving force of creating and “growing” our organic garden which produced over 2 tons (yes, 2 tons!) of fresh and delicious fruits and vegetables.
Diana captivated the audience in her acceptance speech. She so eloquently reminded the audience how we are all one community and how each individual is responsible for doing their part to change the world. Diana, along with the other award recipients our host Paula Tutman, is a true gem for our region. The willingness to step up and take a stand against violence of women and children makes such a big difference. True ambassadors, true friends and difference makers.For those that missed the night, here is a glimpse of the fun and the honors!
Diana Lewis and Paula Tutman
A Thank You Is Never Too Late
Thank you to the many people who supported HAVEN during the month of December. The entire agency was truly overwhelmed by your generosity.
I am especially grateful for the people who open their hearts and their dayplanners and volunteer their time. I am amazed that 220 people spent time the week before Christmas helping at our Gift Giveaway event and by the 12 different groups that hosted events for our shelter residents during the month of December. We realize that the holidays are a busy time for everyone and we are thankful for those who share that time with us.
But I hope you’ll keep us in mind the other 11 months of the year. We need volunteers to answer our Crisis and Support Line on cold February mornings, host bingo parties for the clients in our shelter on bright August afternoons, and babysit children while their moms attend counseling groups on dark October nights.
HAVEN has dozens of ways for you and your family to make a difference every single day of the year. We really need volunteers who can make a lasting commitment, but we’ll happily arrange for one-time opportunities as well. For more information on how to get involved, go to www.haven-oakland.org/ways-to-volunteer/or firstname.lastname@example.org