Winner-Individual Award, Debbie Faller - St. Mary's County
Debbie saw a great need in the community and stepped up to fill that need. In 2019, Deb and her husband founded the county chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP). This national organization provides beds for children ages 3 through 17. Their motto is In Our Town No Kid Sleeps on the Floor. The local chapter works with the Department of Social Services and the school system to identify families with children in need of beds. In less than 2 years, SHP has built, delivered, and assembled 477 beds. This is possible through the efforts of 600 volunteers (3,122 volunteer hours) that Deb recruited and organized through community organizations, churches, and school clubs. She solicits donations from more than 300 corporate and individual donors and works with Lowes and Walmart to secure lumber, hardware, and bedding. Additionally, Deb volunteers with her local SMCPSRA as the telephone tree chair and assisting with the organization of their drive-through luncheons during pandemic closures. She also volunteers with St. Mary’s Caring Soup Kitchen, Hospice of St. Mary’s, and Senior Rides. Clearly, the children and families of St. Mary’s County have benefitted greatly from Deb’s can-do spirit and the individual and group partnerships she formed!
Honorable Mention – Kay DiStefano, Cecil County
Kay volunteers over 40 hours each month to a variety of community causes including with her local CCRSPA. Kay works with member Paula Sheldon to provide needed items like toiletries, first aid items, clothing, and snacks to the nurses of all 29 schools in Cecil County 3 times each year. The nurses inform them what is needed. Kay and Paula shop and deliver the needed items from cash donations made by members of CCRSPA. Additionally, Kay delivers food through Food Delivery Connection to the Mary Randall Center in Elkton. Pre-pandemic she delivered Home Delivered Meals to 15 seniors every other Friday. Kay and her dog Abby volunteer with Paws for People. They visit the Cecil County Children’s Advocacy Center, CASA camp, and Amedisys Hospice so children, adults, and seniors in the various places can pet, brush, and play with Abby bringing all much happiness and comfort. Kay also volunteers at the Good as New Shop run by the Union Hospital Ladies Auxiliary where they raise much needed funds for the hospital by selling donated items. She is on the advisory board of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and serves as secretary for Circle of Love in Christ, a clearing house to help people access community resources. Kay also serves her church as a deacon, circle leader, choir member, cookie walk co-chair and as a server at Hope Dining Room. Kay’s generous donation of her time and talents greatly impacts her community!
NOTE: Local Association Project Awards
Because of the continuing global pandemic, many locals were limited or restricted from engaging in their usual community service projects. Because of these limitations, the MRSPA Community Service Committee decided that no local project awards will be presented again in 2022. Rather, the 8 locals that did submit nomination forms will receive Certificates of Recognition for their efforts. Those 8 locals are Baltimore, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Frederick, St. Mary’s, Washington, and Wicomico Counties. They are to be commended for the outstanding service on behalf of their members and their communities.