These dedicated volunteers were recognized as the 2021 “Heroes of Service” for going above and beyond to improve the lives of others. They are selfless individuals who serve with compassion and overcome obstacles to ensure the children, seniors, and Veterans of Tampa Bay always have someone they can count on.
RSVP Pinellas County
Shirley has been delivering meals to homebound seniors for 17 years. She understands she may be the only person they see all day which is why she won’t let anything stop her, including a pandemic.
RSVP Pasco County
Jane is a volunteer who is doing SO MUCH for SO MANY! She’s using her experience as a family law judge to help children in crisis through Guardian ad Litem, delivers food to hungry families and seniors, and helps a 90-year old Veteran with his monthly bank statements.
RSVP Hillsborough County
Don faithfully volunteers 4-5 days a week at Trinity Café and goes above and beyond to ensure every guest in need gets a hot, nutritious meal served with respect and dignity.
Senior Companion Program
Asleen Griffin has served for TEN years providing encouragement and support for homebound seniors. One of her clients shared “I live alone and family members rarely come by or call me. So I can depend on Asleen to make me fell better. I always look forward to hearing from her. She brightens my day.”
Sharon met her client, Miss P., with a heart ready to serve. Miss P. was feeling isolated and overwhelmed, and Sharon’s compassion helped. When Miss P. was going through the toughest of times with treatments for her chronic condition, Sharon was the caring voice that helped calm her and ease her anxiety.
Janet serves wholeheartedly as a TelePal and has developed a loving friendship with her TelePal Catherine. Janet calls Catherine regularly, REALLY listens to her, and loves hearing her wonderful stories.
Pinellas Foster Grandparent
“Grandma” Christine took action to help the children who needed her most during a year of school shutdowns due to the pandemic. She not only learned to use the internet and Zoom to tutor her children virtually, she encouraged and helped motivate other volunteers who needed support in building technology skills.
Hillsborough Foster Grandparent
“Grandma” Jacquelyn tutors and mentors children in their classroom and also at the Children’s Board Family Resource Center. When her school began permitting volunteers to return in person, her teacher was ecstatic, telling us, “Grandma J is amazing!!!!! I don’t know what I would have done without her. I welcome Mrs. Walker back with open arms. She is the best!!!!!”
Hillsborough Early Learning
“Grandma” Lillie brings love and comfort to her Pre-K children that sets them on a path to a successful future. When COVID-19 forced Hillsborough’s Head Start sites to halt traditional in-person volunteer service, “Grandma” Lillie learned to use a tablet computer, the internet, email, & video-conferencing to serve her children virtually. It wasn’t easy, but she persevered, taking initiative to get the educational materials she needed to make the most of every virtual session with her students.
Readers in Motion
“Grandma” Gladys eagerly participated in training that taught her how to use technology to tutor children virtually. She was thrilled at the opportunity to enrich her life, learning new skills that would help her stay connected to her students. When children who were struggling needed to increase reading frequency outside of school time, Gladys began virtual reading sessions called “Grandma’s Storytime”, which were a huge success with students AND parents. What a great role model, demonstrating perseverance and overcoming adversity to achieve her goals!
Greg James Duncan, Janet Lawrence, and Sharon Abbott (not pictured)
Operation: Veteran Connect
Greg James Duncan, Janet Lawrence, and Sharon Abbott have renewed their AmeriCorp pledge to “Get Things Done!” for three consecutive years. Through their passionate commitment to service, they are improving the health of veterans at the local VA hospitals and in the community.
You can be a HERO too!
Have these “Heroes of Service” inspired you to become a volunteer? We have the service opportunity that uses your passion and talent to make a difference. Get started on your journey toward becoming someone’s hero today!