The award goes to individual and group Hope Lodge volunteers
The 2019 Margot S. Freudenberg National Volunteer Award goes to Joe Henry, Huntingdon Valley, PA, and the University Church of Christ, Greenville, NC.
The award is named after the founder of the first Hope Lodge facility in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1970. It is presented annually to an individual and group in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the Hope Lodge program.
Let’s learn more about their impact at their local Hope Lodge!
Individual Award Winner
Joe Henry (pictured in the smaller image, standing) has been an incredible volunteer at the American Cancer Society AstraZeneca Hope Lodge in Philadelphia for nearly 10 years. He has dedicated his time, energy, and passion to the successful operation of this facility by engaging with fellow volunteers almost daily. He helps to ease the financial and physical burden on guests by recruiting and organizing fellow volunteers who serve free meals to guests more than 200 nights a year.
Joe began his volunteer career at Hope Lodge by transporting patients and caregivers to and from treatment for three years. Currently, he coordinates with various organizations such as companies, churches, and hospital partners to provide free meals. He has been so effective in his role that a volunteer group has provided a dinner at the Hope Lodge facility Monday through Thursday for the last five years. In honor of his mother, Joe also created the Eleanor Henry Award to recognize the service of at least one Hope Lodge volunteer each year.
Joe is also actively involved as a member of our Friends of Hope Lodge Council, a group of donors that raises funds to support our Hope Lodge program financially. He has also supported the Relay For Life and Coaches vs. Cancer programs, as well as volunteered at the Fox Chase Cancer Center.
Watch this video to hear Joe discuss his personal experience as a volunteer.
Group Award Winner
The University Church of Christ volunteer group led by Karen Stephenson has been actively volunteering at the American Cancer Society McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge in Greenville since 2006. (Some, but not all of the volunteers, are pictured above.)
For the last 13 years, the University Church of Christ has been serving huge “church-homecoming-like” meals to Hope Lodge guests every third Thursday of the month. They also provide home-cooked feasts at the Hope Lodge Annual Reunions, and are very active in Relay For Life fundraising events and other Hope Lodge events and activities throughout the year. This group of about a dozen dedicated individuals collectively puts in more than 400 volunteer hours each year.
One unique experience that members of the UCOC provide is gospel music during dinner. After everyone has been served and is seated, one of the UCOC members, Beverly Edwards, sings several gospel hymns.
This group of volunteers also spend many hours:
- Helping at the annual Pitt County survivors’ dinner.
- Fundraising for the Pitt County Relay For Life.
- Setting up and running booths at the Pitt County Relay For Life events.
- Making crocheted hats for women who have lost their hair.
- Making port pillows for patients.
- Making pillowcases, fleece blankets, and lap blankets for hospital patients.
Kathy Belski teaches others to work with their hands to make blankets and pillow cases for those in need at Hope Lodge, the Children’s hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Wounded Warriors, the Carolina Hurricane Project, and other organizations.
As a reminder, Hope Lodge regional directors ensured up to four nominations (up to two individual volunteers and two volunteer groups) per Region were submitted. An appointed Task Force comprised of volunteers and staff from all Regions, winners from the previous year, as well as a member of the Freudenberg family, selected the award winners based on the award criteria.