Volunteers at St. John’s Ministries recognized with awards

Two individuals and a group, along with St. John’s Ministries, were appreciated for their dedication and commitment to helping those experiencing homelessness

It doesn’t take long to see the dedication and time investment from the nearly two hundred volunteers who help those experiencing homelessness. Whether it is serving a meal, sorting and disturbing donations, doing laundry or just having a conversation — volunteering is a calling.

Since the doors opened for those experiencing homelessness back in 2005, there have always been volunteers willing and able to make a difference. Of the many early stories are a group of older ladies who felt the need to do laundry so people living on the streets feel dignified with a clean shirt or pair of pants.

That thought process hasn’t changed over the years. The heart of each volunteer has only grown.

On April 27, inside the atrium at Lambeau Field, Wisconsin Public Service sponsored the 35th Annual Volunteer Center of Brown County awards banquet. St. John’s Ministries won several awards.

Small Group Award: Sunshine Crew

Sponsored by Festival Foods

Small Group recipient: Sunshine Crew: WPS Volunteer Awards

These cooks, the Sunshine Crew, started giving of their time at St. John’s Ministries’ Men’s Shelter and now make breakfast for guests at the Women’s Shelter on Walnut Street. This group of volunteers uses whatever food is available to create amazing breakfast meals. These ladies not only fill the stomachs of those experiencing homelessness but also help meet the social and emotional needs of the guests. Many guests are socially isolated and without close friends or family to talk to. This trio does it all with a smile, serving others with servant leadership and humility. Many winter mornings start out cold and gray, but the Sunshine Crew brightens it up for guests and staff alike, making a huge difference in the lives of homeless women.

“This was the first time that we attended the WPS Volunteers Awards breakfast,” said Shari Peggs, a member of The Sunshine Crew. “It was an honor to represent St John’s and sit with others who share our passion for volunteering. Being recognized at the WPS Volunteer breakfast was something that was completely unexpected because we receive a reward each time we volunteer. I think most volunteers share that sentiment. We are not looking for anyone to recognize us. We are just doing what feels right.”

Heart of Gold Lifetime Achievement Award: Sister Annice McClure

Sponsored by Schreiber

Heart of Gold recipient - Sister Annice McClure: WPS Volunteer Awards

Sister Annice has had service modeled into her since childhood, and those early lessons have served her well. She has dedicated her life to the service of others. At 90 years young, her level of engagement is remarkable. Each week you’ll find Sister Annice at the front desk of St. John’s Ministries’ Micah Center and leading a monthly meal team. Over the last 15 years, her meal team has provided well over 5,000 meals to guests in shelters. Numerous times, Sister Annice has taken on the task of cooking additional meals to celebrate holidays, using food items on hand to create a feast. Her old-fashioned hospitality communicates warmth and care to guests, staff, and community members. She enjoys building rapport with others, and her goal in volunteering is to bring a sense of goodness, joy, and blessing into the lives of the guests she serves. In addition, she worked at Hospital Sisters Health System well into her late 80s. Sister Annice, saying she’s grateful to still be able to do this, has been a role model of selfless service for our entire community.

“I too, was so shocked and surprised with the outcome,” said Sr. Annice. “But grateful to be nominated by and supported by the staff of St Johns ministries. It is nice to be affirmed for the positive things we strive to do in our lives for others. We don’t need to be acknowledged but it strengthens our resolve I think. And I – and all of us – know many other people who deserve it even more for their service. Thank you, Brooke (St. John’s Ministries Volunteer Coordinator) and staff for your nomination and affirmation.””

Youth Award: Delaney Gallagher (Runner-Up)

Sponsored by United Healthcare

Youth runner-up - Delaney Gallagher: WPS Volunteer Awards

The frozen tundra of Green Bay presents a harsh environment for those members of our community living without shelter. Delaney created a program called Long Johns for St. John’s to help during the winter months. She collected warming items such as long johns, coats, hats, gloves, and boots for guests of St. John’s Ministries. Since 2020, she has collected over 3,000 warming items and raised over $9,000 for individuals experiencing homelessness. With those donations, they will be warm, and have shelter and resources to move forward in life!

She seeks in-kind and financial donations, works with the media to spread awareness, and promotes the program on social media. Wise beyond her years, Delaney has become a force for good and an advocate for those in our community who are forgotten.

Nonprofit Impact Award: St. John’s Ministries

Sponsored by Capital Credit Union

Nonprofit Impact - St. John's Ministries: WPS Volunteer Awards

St. John’s Ministries recently expanded gender-specific services by opening its Women’s Shelter. Volunteers and service groups helped move furniture, built bed, set up kitchens, laundry room, and donation room spaces. This represented hundreds of hours of volunteer time. It laid the foundation for St. John’s Ministries to serve some of the most vulnerable women in our community.

In addition, St. John’s Ministries runs The Joseph Project, a faith-based job-employment training program to prepare individuals for full-time careers. Volunteers designed and led workshop sessions on things like budget and finance, interview skills, life skills, and more. These volunteers invest time and talent into the future of our region’s economy by preparing the participants for successful employment. The respect and care of volunteers are important to those experiencing homelessness and housing instability. Whether cleaning, feeding, teaching, or leading, these volunteers provide hope, honor dignity, and effect lasting change.

St. John’s Ministries was one of three winners of the Non-Profit Award. The awards were based on size of the non-profit’s budget.

“I am humbled that St. John’s Ministries received the Nonprofit Impact Award,” said Volunteer Coordinator Brooke Graham. “It is a testament to the hundreds of dedicated volunteers that invest in our guests and our mission. Our volunteers don’t seek credit, yet are so deserving of recognition. They serve out of genuine care to see our guests succeed.”

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