Volunteer Award Winners 2023

AFAC depends on the help of hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers currently donate 40,000 hours to AFAC annually, and we could not function without their help. Every June, AFAC honors volunteers, groups, and community partners who go above and beyond to help us achieve our mission. Here are this year’s award winners:

Volunteer of the Year – Donna Budway

In nearly 18 years she’s been volunteering with us, Donna has donated more than 150 hours in service to AFAC and most importantly to our many families. She is clearly and simply, the heart and soul of our 5th Saturday distributions. In addition, she was essential in launching our offsite distribution at Gilliam Place.

2080 Society Award – Ken Edwards

Ken has volunteered more than 2,080 lifetime hours with AFAC. That number is significant as it represents the value a person who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year accumulates. Only 7 other individuals have achieved this honor.

Group Volunteer of the Year – The Carlin Distribution Crew

There has been no shortage of drama with the staff changes at the Carlin and this group has simply “rolled with it”. They have kept AFAC staff informed about client changes, staffing issues, line management, food choices, and other important information. We know that some days are probably not easy and the residents have some serious concerns. The Carlin Distribution Crew has provided continuity and a friendly face when this site needed it most.

Teen Volunteer of the Year – Frances and Harriet Shapiro

The initiative and leadership Frances and Harriet display is admirable for an adult but particularly noteworthy given their ages. They have accumulated 87 hours when other teens struggle to volunteer a small fraction of that amount. We all know well that we can count on them to do whatever is needed.

Community Partner of the Year – Give a Kid a Book

With his twice-monthly giveaways to our clients at the AFAC, Alex Pomper has visited more than 25 times since he founded his organization, Give a Kid a Book in January of 2022. We estimate that he has given our families 1,660 books at the minimum. He shows maturity and responsibility in organizing and planning each outreach event, certainly beyond his years. When he is interacting with clients, he is always extraordinarily respectful and friendly.

Community Partner of the Year – Edu-Futuro

Staff from Edu-Futuro have conducted outreach at AFAC distributions more than 50 times since July. Veronica Herrera, in particular, has brought her expertise and energy to our clients at Nelson Street, Arlington Mill, Gates of Ballston, and Gilliam Place. Veronica keeps AFAC up-to-date on their programs so that we can advertise them to our clients. She also does case management and has been trained to submit referrals into our client system. Since she was trained in August, she has helped at least 57 families receive weekly groceries.