And The Award Goes To…
The Extension awards The Karl Steinichen Award for Volunteer Service and the Dr. Judith A Hoyt Award for Community Leadership
Last year was like no other, The Extension faced challenges we could have never imagined, but strong community partnerships helped us successfully navigate the storms of 2020. Every year, The Extension gives out two awards to people or organizations in the community who exemplify the heart of our organization. This year, the Dr. Karl Steinichen Award for Volunteer Service goes to Printpack Inc. and the First United Methodist Church of Marietta. The Dr. Judith A. Hoyt Award for Community Leadership is awarded to Lisa Crossman of Cobb & Douglas County Public Health. The recipients were honored at private ceremonies earlier this month.
The Extension relies on the community to provide meals for our residents. In March of last year, we temporarily closed our campuses to everyone but residents and staff due to COVID 19 restrictions. Instead of preparing and serving meals, volunteers were only allowed to drop food off for our residents. Churches, businesses, civic organizations, and individuals stepped in to work together to keep our residents fed during the crisis. Meals were prepared off-site, groups made donations to cover the cost of meals, or ordered from local restaurants for delivery to help them also stay afloat during the pandemic.
Because of either health concerns or financial constraints, some of our serving groups could not help. That left many open evenings on our meal calendar and, potentially, some hungry residents. Several groups stepped in to help, but Printpack, Inc., and First United Methodist Church went above and beyond to fill many of the open dates and provide thousands of meals to our residents over the past year.
Mr. James Tate, representing Printpack, stated, “We know our business is not just to meet the needs of our customers. A better world and a better community is a shared responsibility that we take very seriously. Our company has supported our service at The Extension. When we heard that the pandemic caused some groups to forego providing dinner, we knew we had to step up and do more. We are proud of our affiliation with The Extension and are honored to serve the community we call home.”
Mr. Forrest Cates commented on behalf of First United Methodist Church “We are bound to The Extension by a shared mission. Our service comes from an undeniable compulsion at the heart of our faith. We come to serve those who have come to be served, but realize at the point of contact there is no difference—we all serve and are served. The Extension describes itself as a “God thing.” I would say that’s very true. In this case, the God thing is connected. I meet Jesus every time I go there.”
The pandemic also brought new policies, requirements, and procedures to keep residents and staff safe and healthy throughout the crisis. The executive staff was constantly on the phone updating these procedures, sometimes on a daily basis. Lisa Crossman of Cobb & Douglas County Public Health worked tirelessly with The Extension team to navigate and meet each challenge.
Ms. Lisa Crossman of Cobb & Douglas County Public Health stated, “The Extension is one of our premier non-profit organizations whose staff works 24/7 to help those in need. I know the pandemic has been so challenging for them. On top of their ongoing heroic efforts each day, the staff also had to put very strict COVID-19 prevention practices in place and find ways to get staff and clients tested, isolated, and quarantined when needed. Our public health staff and partners were happy to help them develop their protocols and assist with on-site testing. Tyler worked so hard to protect his clients and staff. Seriously, I’m glad to help. It’s times like these when we all need each other.”
The Cobb Community continues to be an example of what we can achieve when we all work together during a crisis. We want to thank everyone who continues to support The Extension and look forward to reopening our campuses. It requires many helping hands and loving hearts for us to continue to save and restore lives in our community. This year, The Extension would like to shine a light on and recognize, honor, and humbly thank our heroes Printpack, First United Methodist Church, and Lisa Crossman for their dedication to serving The Extension and our community.