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2020 Volunteer Appreciation Awards

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

Each December we look forward to hosting our Annual Holiday Party and Volunteers Award Ceremony. It is a terrific way of celebrating the commitment of those who ensure that our mission, programs and life changing work continues, deepens and expands. Of course it is also a way to acknowledge and appreciate those who give of themselves to improve the lives of others by their generosity. There is no better company.

Sadly, because of the constraints of COVID-19 we had to do things very differently in 2020 to ensure the safety of all. We hosted our party on Zoom - so while we saw the more than 50 faces of those we cherish - we were unable to celebrate in the room together. We look forward to a time when we can gather again.

In the last year, despite the challenges of COVID and the need to do many things differently, the passion and dedication of our volunteers is undimmed. They have adapted to the new realities and found ways to stay safe and help us complete our work!

We are grateful for all our volunteers - as we often say 98% of our work is carried out by volunteers and without them our success around the globe would be unthinkable. We truly value each and every one of you.

This year, as we do, we also celebrated key individuals for their unique contributions in supporting our work.

Highlights include:

Volunteers of the year

Sally Thompson RN NP - joined PWH in 2018

Sally serves as the Aisle Leader for Drapes and Gowns, is a member of the sewing circle, helped design patterns for childrens clothing supplied on Medical Missions, and was instrumental in reorganizing the shelves at our Canco Warehouse. When COVID hit she stepped up to help design and sew our blue wrap masks, (the group total is 8,200 and counting). She also took on a new role in pulling and labeling boxes for container shipments as COVID caused us to close down.

Gaye Brown - joined PWH in 2018

Gaye serves as the Aisle Leader for Lab - coming to PWH several times a week and taking home complex projects to ensure we have not only the equipment we need but researched and implemented new Lab Kits and created process documents to better utilize those kits! A natural problem solver she has taken on research projects to better understand equipment needs and established a ‘Bible’ to serve as a guide to identify items and make quicker assessments in sorting.

Nurse of the Year

Lois Lefebrve RN - joined PWH in 2018

Lois found PWH through the auspices of Mary Floyd RN in 2018 having served as a nurse in the Scarborough Surgery Center and at ASU PAC. She serves as the Aisle Leader on two medical categories - GI and GU and is often accompanied by her husband, John. You will also find them when they help to load containers. She is a knowledgeable resource for other volunteers and often volunteers for additional shifts to ensure our work stays on schedule.

New Volunteer of the Year

Bonnie Beach - joined PWH in 2019

It is always fun to recognize new volunteers sharing their talents with us and this year we are delighted to introduce and recognize Bonnie - as COVID hit she adjusted her schedule to work from home and maintains our workflow by being one of the best ‘boxers’ on the team. As the pandemic grew she shifted her role to include travel far and wide in New England to collect materials and supplies often putting in a 12 hour shift with her co-pilot Lonnie Floyd and then having brought the equipment back to PWH, is happy to pull boxes for containers and load containers. Her commitment is exceptional.

Canco Volunteer of the Year

Tom Downing - joined PWH in 2016

Tom is considered Ritchie’s (PWH’s Container Load Manifest Leader) right hand! When he’s at Canco he routinely keeps the warehouse stocked and organized making sure that everything is ready when containers need to be loaded and always ship out on time. This might mean long hours but his dedication and perfectionism means that this year he worked on 9 of the 12 containers that shipped. His quiet diligence is a gift for us that we truly value.

Above and Beyond Awards

Bonnie Craig - joined PWH in 2019

Bonnie was a weekly visitor until COVID closed our doors. When the Lebanon explosion occurred she set about soliciting donations in her neighborhood to help ship a container to those in need. She is a passionate recruiter on our behalf and has near magical abilities to conjure up the right box for whatever needs shipping.

Pam Keenan- joined PWH in 2017

Like many of her colleagues, Pam adjusted to the realities of COVID by working from home and has increased her productivity to the point where she is taking home projects twice a week! Her initials stand out amongst the plethora of boxes during our container loads.

Dynamic Duo

Colleen & Bob Taylor - joined PWH in 2019

Initially Bob was looking for a challenging volunteer opportunity and after attending orientation Colleen decided that she too would like to put her skills and experience to work but in different aspects of our work. Colleen is an aisle leader for PPE (imagine the demand for PPE in these times) while Bob works the respiratory aisle checking, cleaning and building nebulizers and CPAP boxes. They are both flexible and committed to our mission, adjusting their schedules as needed!

Malcolm Graham Legacy Award

This award is named after one of our volunteers Malcolm Graham. He was a very dedicated volunteer, often here 6 days a week - always working sorting out needles and syringes for over 30 hours a week while playing his 1940’s music that we all loved. Malcolm started volunteering in 2015 and continued to come in up until he passed away.

This award goes to the volunteer who has provided exceptional dedication to PWH and showcases a heart of service like Malcolm did.

Mark Love - joined PWH in 2009

Mark got his start with Elizabeth on Glasgow Road right at the beginning of it all! He was and is the original MMC pick up man- due to COVID he now picks up on the loading bay but still makes his weekly trips (or daily if needs be). Mark knows and is loved by everyone!

Container Masters

Lonnie Floyd - joined PWH in 2017

Lonnie brings us the gist of his dry sense of humor and his many years of logistical experience - his ability to maximize space use in containers is complemented by his willingness to test box strength using himself as the measurement!

Don Madson - joined PWH in 2014

Don never lets his work at CVS get in the way of a great volunteer opportunity, even if that means dropping by early to help load a container - then after a quick change he’s off to work inspiring us all with his dedication.

In reality all of our volunteers are critical to our ability to meet the mission and make a huge difference here in Maine, through the US and across the world. Each hour of volunteer time translates into a life affirming or life changing act and the cumulative impact of our volunteers literally spreads across the globe and over time. Their passion and commitment is exemplary and if felt by thousands near and far.

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