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New Hope Housing Volunteers Acknowledged

They give their money, their time, and their heart and soul. So this week, staff and board members of New Hope Housing wanted to thank their volunteers for giving so much of themselves. They did so during their annual volunteer recognition meeting.

Held at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church, it was a night to celebrate the gifts given by so many.

Tim Lyden was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year for the work he does at the Kennedy Shelter. As an attorney with Hogan & Hartsen, Lyden goes to the shelter once a month to help clients with legal issues.

Executive Director Pam Michell, who presented Lyden with his award, said, "He almost didn't come tonight. The Kennedy residents expect him the third Tuesday of every month, and that's where he believes he should be. Unlike some other programs, Tim tells me he always gets people to sign up [for his sessions]."

Michell went on to say, "Tim is sincere, caring, patient and respectful. He has what it takes to work at Kennedy Shelter, a special place with people who have unusual legal problems."

Michell then introduced Joe Boddie, director of employment and training. "Joe has the vision for the employment and education department and helps people get out of the [homeless] program. His intern program has proven to be rewarding on all sides," said Michell.

Boddie commented on the intern program, saying, "Community, selflessness and love, the two people in the intern program have these attributes. The apprentice program has worked wonderfully. It partners residents with staff members. Residents learn the soft and hard skills they need and staff members hone their management skills."

He then announced the recipient of the Kennedy Intern of the Year. It was Sharon Whiteaker, who interned at the Kennedy Shelter by helping in the kitchen. Boddie said that they're glad that she is now working, but they really miss her in the kitchen, although she does continue to help out there when she has time.

Dale Turner received the Mondloch Intern of the Year. Turner was mentored by Roxanne Watkins, who talked about how pleasant Turner was.

"Everybody wanted to know, 'Who's on the phone? She's so pleasant.' She is a great organizer. I just enjoy her company; all the staff enjoy her."

MICHELL INTRODUCED state Del. Kristen J. Amundson, (D-44) who was the guest speaker for the evening. Michell said that Amundson had a long history of volunteering.

"Kris was the president of the board of New Hope Housing when I was hired as director," said Michell. "Kris mentored me, helping me to learn my position. She is a friend, mentor and wonderful delegate. When I first met Kris, she said that it was her dream to be in the House of Delegates. She succeeded and has been a strong voice for human services and education."

Amundson spoke about how volunteers are central to the mission of the organization.

"Without you, there would be a lot more homeless people," said Amundson, who went on to list the three most important things that volunteers do.

She said that they first expand the reach of the organization, by allowing New Hope Housing to do more than the minimum and gave some examples of the painting and construction jobs that have been done by volunteers.

Amundson said that the second thing volunteers give is access to community resources, and mentioned things like bringing in more volunteers, giving financial support and securing items like tickets and tours to Mount Vernon. The third thing that Amundson mentioned was "No matter how much you give, volunteers get back so much more."

OTHER VOLUNTEERS recognized at the meeting were: Jon Feld, New Volunteer of the Year; Bob Valone, Kennedy Volunteer of the Year; Miller and Smith, Mondloch Volunteer of the Year; Molly Denton, Transitional Housing Volunteer of the Year; and Springfield United Methodist Church, Operations Volunteer of the Year. Mount Vernon Kiwanis Club received the Good Neighbor Award and Girl Scout Troops 1925 and 1644 received the Volunteer Fairfax Youth Group of the Year Award.

Bill Krist, president of the board of directors, thanked all the board members, who are "terrific and all do much more than come to meetings." Mary Jo George and Jimmi Barnwell were elected to the board for a first term, while Tom Devine and Sol Glasner returned for a second term.