Last week, several volunteers were honored at our annual Volunteer Appreciation Event for going above and beyond the call of duty in their roles at LPCS. We have thousands of dedicated volunteers each year, but these have earned special recognition. Over the next several weeks we will profile these special volunteers on this blog as a way of publicly showing our appreciation for all that they have given, and continue to give, to LPCS and our Guests!
The Mission Award is an award in recognition of a “hands on” volunteer who has demonstrated a commitment to furthering the mission of LPCS by their direct volunteer service with Guests. This year the award is given to Hank Trenkle. An important and special aspect of this award is that not only does the staff have a say in the recipient, but the Guests make the final decision of who will be receiving this award.
Hank has been volunteering with us for several years, beginning with his Park Ridge church group. He started out with overnights and meals, leading into his weekly support group. Not only does he generously donate Sox tickets, but he gladly attends the games with the Guests. This entire time he has been consistent, and going above and beyond each time.
I asked some staff and fellow volunteers to tell me a little bit about him. I caught all interest once I mentioned the name “Hank” and I got an overwhelming response of how fabulous he is, his passion for the organization, genuine care for the Guests, eagerness to help, his open attitude and motivation, how he would help in any way, and if I were to say all of the things people said about how outstanding he is, I’d be talking for far too long.
Along the same line, the Guests had only good things to say about him. They have such an appreciation for his honesty with them, and the trust they have during the support group.
The Guests have a personal and trusting connection with him; one Guest mentioned Hank introduced himself while making dinner, realizing she was new, and he remembered her name the next week he saw her. This made a difference in her first night staying here, and was encouraging to know he took an interest in really knowing the Guests.
Hank is a fantastic representative of LPCS and is absolutely furthering our mission with a smile and ear to listen. I think I can speak for many to say that Hank has made a difference in LPCS, and brought so much joy. We truly appreciate all Hank does being involved, and I am so thrilled to be able to give Hank this award, and can’t wait to see all he offers for LPCS.
- By Lauren Kirby, Volunteer Coordinator