Social Services Volunteer Program

SOCIAL SERVICES VOLUNTEER PROGRAM


WHITTIER HONORS “VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR” - 2015

Sponsored by the Whittier Social Services Commission, the “Volunteers of the Year” program annually recognizes the crème de la crème of Whittier’s many dedicated volunteers who serve in a plethora of local social services programs.

Volunteers honored this year were:

ROBERTO CHAVEZ

Roberto has been very active in volunteer service to enhance the quality of arts and culture in Whittier. He has served in a variety of volunteer positions, including serving as Chair of the 52nd, 53rd, 54th and 55th annual Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts; heading up The “W” Art Show in Whittier for 4 years; working on the revival of the Walnut Tree Festival; volunteering at the Whittier Antiques and Classic Car Show; and assisting in the Uptown Art Crawl. He has also volunteered in programs to encourage the arts among youth, including organizing Congresswoman Linda Sanchez’s District Art Competition for High Schools, which includes the Whittier Union High School District and serving as a mentor for the Whittier High School’s Graphic Arts Academy.

DOROTHEA CUMMINGS

For 33 years, Dorothea has volunteered for the Assistance League of Whittier in a variety of capacities, including serving as Chair of the Dental Committee, which provides emergency dental treatment for school children who are uninsured and cannot afford care and also provided assistance in Spanish for those clients who do not speak English. Dorothea also served as the Bookmobile Chair, which included bringing books to people who were unable to leave their homes. Dorothea served as Public Relations Chair to increase the organization’s visibility in the community, including promoting the League’s bi-annual Christmas Carousel event, the group’s largest fundraiser. She also used her writing skills to form the Grant Writing Committee, which supplements the League’s growing programs.

MARLENE FLORES-AVILA

Marlene, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a passion to build a healthier community, joined the Activate Whittier Board and began to facilitate change to encourage healthy lifestyles. Annually, Marlene operates a 6 to 8-week resident advocacy training, “Change Starts with Me.”  Offered in both English and Spanish, this program teaches the power of leadership in the community and how residents can advocate for healthy changes.  Three years ago she started a new community action group, “Residents in Action,” focusing on healthy lifestyles, and also provides leadership training for both adults and youth. She joined with many residents and groups to voice the successful support of Whittier’s Smoke Free Park ordinance and promoted the Healthy Picks Labeling Program which encourages consumers to pay closer attention to the food they purchase and select the healthy options.

LEE ISAAC

For the past 23 years, Lee has volunteered at the Uptown Senior Center Nutrition Program.  He assists the Nutrition Site Supervisor Monday through Friday, preparing tables and organizing supplies in the kitchen. Lee is eager to perform his duties, rarely missing days and is usually the first volunteer to arrive at the Senior Center every morning before 8 a.m.  Lee is very dedicated and supportive to the participants attending the Center and is very well respected by both the participants and staff at the Senior Center. The staff and volunteers at the Whittier Senior Center truly appreciate Lee’s dedication to our older adults and our Center.  We look forward to working with Lee for many years to come.

MAURICE MEYSENBURG

Maurice is an outstanding supporter of the Rio Hondo Symphony, a volunteer greeter reaching out to welcome the community to the Symphony’s free Sunday afternoon concerts. He is known as the “Mentor Volunteer.” Maurice also volunteers to raise funds through the Symphony’s Association and Guild, staging the Silent Auction, and recently obtaining a sponsorship from Marie Calendar’s Restaurant.  He also visits PTA meetings, faculty meetings and local organization Board meetings to spread the word about these outstanding concerts. Through the Guild, he volunteers to assist in the April Symphony Gardens Tour, which raises funds for aspiring musicians and furthering its Educational Outreach program, the latter which provides concerts at local schools and transportation to a free Children’s Symphony performance.

ROGER STOLTENBERG

Roger has been a dedicated volunteer in organizations to benefit children, providing volunteer service in the community.  In SPIRTT Family Services, Roger has served on the SPIRTT Board of Directors, and has been President from 2002 to 2015.  He has been instrumental is developing SPIRTT to an agency with a budget of $4.04 million, supporting a staff of 61 trained, experienced, caring and committee staff members to assist those in the community facing substance abuse, mental health issues, violence, trauma and child abuse prevention.  In particular, Roger is a strong advocate for strengthening the roles of fathers in the development of healthy children. Roger has devoted 40 years of service to community-based organizations strengthening the lives of children.  Roger is also the Chair of the Leadership Board of the Special Olympics San Gabriel Valley and was the Chair of the Host City for this Summer’s Special Olympics World Games.

MARGARET (MARGIE) TAYLOR

Volunteering has always been a part of Margie’s life.  When her children were young, she was active in the PTA and served as a room mother.  Margie became a Whittier Senior Center Senior Center volunteer in 2007.  She enjoys assisting in the various Senior Center programs, such as the monthly birthday parties, special events, grocery shopping and picking up medications for our seniors. Margie is known as the “Sunshine Person,” taking the lead in circulating birthday cards, get-well cards and condolence cards for everyone to sign and send to brighten someone’s day. Margie also  volunteers in the Nutrition program assisting in preparing the tables with place settings and condiments and assisting in cleaning up and organizing the kitchen supplies.

 

Volunteers of the year recently recognized by the Whittier City Council and Social Services Commission