The contest is now closed.
Congratulations to our winners!
Day in and day out, volunteers make life better in communities across the country; and in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,
many are taking on powerful new roles as well. Exceptional volunteers were nominated to the Create the Good Show Your Love Volunteer Contest as a way to honor their service.
Read the winning submissions
It is with great enthusiasm that I nominate Arnetta Baty. I met Arnetta two years ago when I started a nonprofit focused on supporting residents in underserved communities. Numerous community members, city employees and civic leaders told me I needed to connect with Arnetta. When I met her, I understood why. Arnetta has dedicated her life to serving her community. She has been a committed volunteer within the neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Hyde Park and many others in the Boston area for the past 30+ years.
As a volunteer, Arnetta goes above and beyond the call of duty. There are so many examples of this in her work. She is the volunteer board chair of the local nonprofit Rounding the Bases and works with this organization to serve seniors and low income families across the area. Many nonprofit board chairs consider their role to be something they do on the side. However, Arnetta treats her role like a full time job. She is out in the community volunteering and making a tangible difference in people’s lives daily.
Arnetta helps her husband, Carl run computer literacy programs for seniors, giving them skills to be technologically independent and empowering them to keep in touch with loved ones. When the space they used for these classes was no longer available, Arnetta and Carl invited the students into their home to continue their course. She participates in a dementia support program serving as a buddy for other seniors to ensure they are not left behind or forgotten in a health care system that often does not meet their daily needs. Prior to COVID, she organized a monthly senior brunch and brought in speakers to share resources, ensuring that seniors were well connected and supported. Since COVID began, she has continued to check in with these seniors regularly. She also has participated in a community health survey for years, helping the city of Boston understand the needs of seniors and helping them “Age Strong.” Finally, since COVID began, Arnetta and Carl have been delivering food to seniors, families with children, and childcare providers who cannot get to the grocery store or provide this food on their own. They have overcome immense obstacles to make this happen, including borrowing a car for several months after theirs was stolen just before COVID. Despite her own health challenges, Arnetta would walk the mile with Carl to pick up the car and support his efforts to pack up and deliver food. Now that they have their own car, she travels to two farms each Saturday to pick up fresh food to be delivered.
I consider myself lucky to have met Arnetta and am inspired by the incredible impact she has on people’s lives in her community. She is a role model for me, and many others in Boston, of what it means to age strong and live a life of service.
Arnetta in the center of the attached photo in red, picking up vegetables with her husband Carl.
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System (STVHCS) would like to nominate and highlight the hard work and dedication of our volunteer Barbara Abbey as an organizational key player throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Barbara comes to us from Cherry Creek, New York, every November, but works as many hours as other volunteers who are here year-round. Once in San Antonio, she works Monday through Friday, at least 9 hours a day and in the past 2 years has not missed a day we haven’t forced her to take. Barbara has already volunteered 1,000+ hours this year alone. Due to COVID-19 she had to temporarily postpone her return trip and jumped right into action assisting STVHCS. During this unprecedented pandemic she took a front seat in keeping our staff and Veterans safe. As STVHCS confronted the pandemic there was a call for staff to assist with screening at all hospital entrances. Barbara volunteered immediately and in the first weeks she screened 12-hour days covering various entrances and shifts, including the night shift. This critical assignment protected our staff and Veterans and leveraged staff to continue seamlessly caring for Veterans. After assisting with screening, she jumped in to assist with staff meal deliveries. We’ve been very fortunate to receive tremendous community support with meal donations for our healthcare workers. However, as the pandemic grew, so did restrictions on food deliveries to our facility. We had to be innovative in our approach to get the generously donated meals to our staff. We creatively organized an off-site drop off for all donated meals. Without fail, Barbara served as the pick-up and delivery POC for community-donated meals destined for COVID-19 staff. With a full schedule of sponsored meals and, on many days, double deliveries, Barbara assisted in getting over 4,000 meals to our staff. Each trip she made meant she had to be screened herself, but she never complained. Whatever it took to get these meals to our exhausted front-line clinicians, Barbara did it. Many times, she even delivered meals to staff at other clinics throughout the city. We could not have done this without her unwavering dedication to serve 24/7. Barbara is not a Voluntary Service asset – she’s an organizational asset. Her service goes well beyond any expectations we can have in our volunteers. We are all grateful for Barbara and her selflessness, dedication and commitment. Her sacrifices on behalf of our staff and Veterans without regard to her own vulnerabilities are unmatched and unasked for; she volunteers cheerfully and readily because it is in her heart and because she knows she is not just making a difference in our Veterans’ lives, she is changing their lives for the better. It is inspiring to see Barbara united with staff and serving on the front lines in the fight of our lives against COVID-19 by doing whatever is needed. Showing our love for her hard work is the least we can do. Please join us in recognizing Barbara’s heroic service to Veterans and to
$1,000 with matching donation!
Winning nominee from each category will receive $1,000 along with a matching donation to the charity of their choice. Runners Up finalists will receive a $500 donation to the charity of their choice. Prizes provided by AARP and Cabot Creamery Co-operative.