The Shelter salutes its dedicated volunteers

Under the theme, “Volunteers Make the World a Brighter Place,” The Shelter for Abused Women & Children honored its 480 dedicated volunteers, Mar. 30, with a Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at Kensington Country Club. In 2016-17, Shelter volunteers logged an amazing 22,183 hours of service. If monetized, the total would exceed $522,631, based on 2015 figures from the Independent Sector.

The lion’s share of the volunteer hours were given at The Shelter’s Options Thrift Shoppe, but countless hours were also spent answering The Shelter’s crisis hotline, making copies, attending events, cleaning, organizing the food pantry or serving on various Shelter boards and committees.


This year’s Shelter Volunteer of the Year was Robert Bernardo, who started volunteering with The Shelter just over a year ago. Bob is a quiet man with a big heart for service. He assists in The Shelter administrative office twice a week, doing everything from creating spreadsheets and working in databases to dating food, stuffing envelopes, hanging pictures, organizing closets and anything else that needs to be done. On holidays, Bob assists in emergency shelter to ensure our participants can relax and enjoy the day.

His engineering background helps him to organize each project and he has a great sense of humor. He once noted, “It’s funny how you do things as a volunteer that you would never even consider doing as a paid employee!’”

“His kindness is overwhelming and his heart is that of a pure gentleman,” says Volunteer and Resource Manager Naomi Goren. “He is truly beloved by all of our staff and has become a part of our Shelter Family.”

Other Outstanding Shelter volunteers for 2016-17 included:

  • Holiday Volunteers – June Ballew, Lois Castronova, and Maxine Robbins
  • Administrative Volunteer – Heidi Dudich
  • Shelter Guild Volunteers – Denise Wilburn and Jeanne Jones
  • Mending Broken Hearts With Hope Luncheon Volunteer – Peggy Wenger
  • Options Volunteers – Georgie Gallagher and Carolyn Angevine
  • Outreach Volunteer – Renee Moison
  • Emergency Shelter Volunteer – Lynn Martin

Volunteers with 10 or more years of service included

Phyllis Bond- 14 years
Pat Boysen- 11 years
Janice Carter- 22 years
Carol Chapman-14 years
Rita Collins- 11 years
Maureen DiMarco- 12 years
Eleanor Egerton – 16 years
Sandra Estridge- 21 years
Mary Greer- 16 years
Nancy Herbert-11 years
Patty Innamorati- 14 years
Eileen Johnson- 14 years
Barbara Johnson-18 years
Chris Kardon- 13 years
Patti Kipp- 14 years
Norma Laird-11 years
Barbara Lauber-12 years
Ruth Mast- 14 years
Jimany Sue McLaughlin- 20 years
Diane Messana- 14 years
Shirley Neu-11 years
Lorraine Newcomb-15 years
Katy Olson- 13 years
RaeAnn Patton- 13 years
Annabella Richardi- 17 years
Janice Rogers-12 years
Sue Silber-12 years
Jan Smith- 11 years
Molly Stanley- 10 years
Betty Tinsler- 12 years
Jean Travlos- 11 years
Irmgard Wannamaker- 11 years
Charlotte Werdell- 11 years.


Shelter Executive Director Linda Oberhaus also shared a few words with those in attendance, stating, “Whether volunteering at Options, in our emergency shelter, in administration, or on one of our boards, we appreciate the difference that you are making in the lives of some of the most vulnerable families in our community.”