The Volunteer Center Proudly Honors Five Exceptional Volunteers March 8, 2014!
2014 VOLUNTEER CENTER HONOREES
Jane Gallery and Frank Craven
As the mother of a son with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Jane Gallery will be honored for her dedication to providing services for youth and young adults with disabilities that were not available prior to her efforts. In conjunction with NSSED she created P.E.L.S. (Parents. Educating. Learning. Supporting.), an open forum to help parents of children with disabilities network. Jane also worked closely with the Special Olympics at New Trier High School and the ELS (Enriching Lives Through Service) Program to welcome new parents to the system. Frustrated that once an individual with disabilities reaches 22, home based services in the state of Illinois stop, so in 2008 Jane worked with New Trier Township to establish a groundbreaking nonprofit called “Our Place” whose mission is to support teens and adults with developmental disabilities so they can live meaningful, productive, socially connected lives in their home communities. Jane and trustees and staff from the New Trier Township Food Pantry put together a valuable volunteer program with the Our Place participants to experience the joy of helping people in need on an ongoing basis by keeping the shelves stocked and organized. Our Place continues to expand its reach and serves 70 young adults and has been replicated in Wheaton and now Lake Forest.
FRANK CRAVEN, the son of Jane Gallery and George “Buz” Craven, is a happy participant of Our Place. And as such, he is also a prolific volunteer in the many opportunities to serve with his Our Place friends. He loves to work and be a part of a team. When he’s not working at Marshall’s, he is a dedicated helper at New Trier Township’s Food Pantry twice a week, and Three Crowns Park in Evanston helping Seniors with their oral histories. He also serves on the Community Outreach Committee at Our Place for the Adopt A Family Program through New Trier Township. He was also a volunteer with the Winnetka Family Services’ Thrift Shop in Winnetka. It’s important to Frank and all with a disability, if given the opportunity they can make an important contribution to the community.
Ten years ago, Sandy Haggart founded Feed the Dream, a nonprofit organization that works with indigenous people of Guatemala to provide nutrition education and resources in their villages. Following years of medical mission trips to Guatemala, and after her adult daughter adopted a child from Guatamala, she discovered there was a 61% malnutrition rate in the country and knew she had to do something to help. Feed the Dream provides balanced meals and vitamins to children under the age of five and to women of reproductive age. It also educates women on the importance of nutrition and hygiene, sets up child-feeding centers and community gardens with training to stimulate cultivation of diversified crops and to use food locally available to improve their diet. This very impactful nonprofit also raises money to provide families with stoves because women were going blind cooking over stoves without any ventilation. They also are provided goats to increase nutrition and sustainability. Feed the Dream has served 18 villages (9 of which have graduated to self-sustainability) and 23 pre-schools. It also currently reaches out to over 1500 women and children daily. Sandy leads four trips a year to Guatemala, and does all the fundraising for Feed the Dream stateside. In addition to The Volunteer Center’s honors, she was chosen as a recipient of the 2007 Traditional Home, Classic Woman Award and The Northwestern Alumnae award in 2010.
Jane Trueheart Huels
Jane is a dedicated volunteer who seeks to ensure that individuals and families are empowered with the tools necessary to lead productive, happy lives. Jane is very involved with Good News Partners in Rogers Park – whose mission is to create safe, affordable and reliable housing, and to help build confidence and community simultaneously. GNP provides affordable housing for otherwise homeless families with a step-by-step transition from interim housing to independent living. Over 160 families have moved on to purchase/their own homes. Jane has been involved in GNP as a volunteer for years and is currently the co-chair with Barb Gerleman of Northbrook, of The Christmas Store at Good News Partners, an innovative approach to fulfilling holiday wishes for their GNP families. Families are able to “shop” in a store setting using coupons or “Jingle Bucks” they earn by working at GNP on site. Each registered participant may purchase at a discount from suggested retail prices – either with cash or with “Jingle Bucks” that can be earned through participation in the community through a variety of activities. Jane’s benevolence carries over into the local New Trier Township Community, as the Past President, Ex-Officio of the Samaritan Counseling Center, an organization whose Services include spiritually-sensitive individual counseling for children, adolescents and adults, plus counseling for couples and families, Jane has dedicated considerable commitment to the organization’s mission. There are 18 congregations that work with Samaritan Counseling Center to bring a blend of psychological and spiritual help to those who need them. She is also on the board of the Winnetka Congregational Church and is serving as its treasurer, and dedicates herself to the Rummage and benevolence committees, which make a huge difference for those nonprofits that benefit from one of the country’s largest rummage sales.
Currently, Nina Schroeder devotes significant time to the Glencoe Community Garden which she co-founded with Vivian Nitzberg and Jim Goodman. The Garden, conceived to honor the 40th anniversary of Temple Am Shalom as a gift back to the community, is a nonprofit, cooperative, service project for all ages and is 100% built and farmed by volunteers. 100% of its crops, 4,000 pounds in 2 years, are donated to local food kitchens, pantries and other charitable organizations. The Garden offers educational opportunities on food justice, sustainability and environmental issues, as well as social action and community opportunities accessible to all individuals. Nina also remains involved in humanitarian initiatives on behalf of the cultural preservation of and human rights in Tibet. She has committed over 20 years to the Tibetan Resettlement Project. Through a special act of Congress in 1990, visas were issued to 1,000 Tibetan Refugees who subsequently needed help settling in the U.S. She became the Executive Director of the Chicago Tibetan Resettlement Project and over time helped 100 Chicago Tibetan Refugees find jobs, housing, education and pro-bono health care. Since 1996, Nina has initiated, and directed five official visits of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Chicago including his 2007 Public Talk and Buddhist teaching in Millennium Park. That event resulted in the founding of Chicago’s first Tibetan Community Center in Evanston. Although she continues to work for the Tibetan community, Nina has made major contributions to local people at risk through her synagogue, Am Shalom in Glencoe. Rabbi Lowenstein sought her organizational skills to continue a Serving the Homeless program with the help of fellow congregants Linda Ginsberg, Jackie Stein and Dermid Eagen. The program is a consortium of five temples in the Chicago area that rotate the food service responsibility, and for the past five years been providing Thanksgiving meals to that community with Bethlehem Healing Temple. Nina has also been an active board member of Chicago’s unique and only spectacle theatre, Redmoon. This year Redmoon will launch Mayor Emanuel’s first major cultural initiative with the Great Chicago Fire Festival in which Nina is also currently integrally involved.