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April 21, 2020

Commissioners announce 2020 Volunteer Enrichment Awards during National Volunteer Week

$8,000 total awarded to 11 different programs

Boulder County, Colo. - The Boulder County Commissioners approved a proclamation on April 21, proclaiming National Volunteer Week in Boulder County to be April 19-25. The proclamation comes with a celebration of the important role volunteers play in the community which includes awarding $8,000 to 11 volunteer program proposals. On an annual basis, Boulder County invites volunteers from county government programs to apply for funding to support a program.

Proposals for the awards can be for various needs to enrich an existing volunteer program. Examples can include funding for supplies, or training dollars to increase volunteers’ skills. This awards program is a way to encourage innovation, strengthen the county’s volunteer programs, and come together on an annual basis to celebrate volunteerism. The volunteer award recipients for this year are:

  • Laurie Lee: Community Services Department - Community Justice Services (CJS) Serving under the Jail Education and Transition Program (JET), Lauri coordinates Mindfulness and Path to Freedom programs at the Boulder County Jail. These meditation and emotional intelligence programs help incarcerated individuals gain knowledge, awareness, and skills which promote their successful community re-entry and reduce recidivism. Funds will be used to purchase zabutan mats, pillows, and white noise makers for these programs, which will be used by seven instructors and 20-25 inmates per week.
  • Abigail Nguyen: Community Services Department - Community Justice Services (CJS) Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) volunteers create safe, educational, and positive environments for the 500+ juveniles who pass through the JAC each year. The funds awarded for this program will be used to purchase art supplies, coloring books, and 3D puzzles, which will contribute to the JAC’s therapeutic setting and provide mental stimulation and healthy outlets for the expression of emotions.
  • Dolores Sargent: District Attorney’s Office - Community Protection Division (CPD) Community Protection volunteers provide information and resources to the public related to telephone and online fraud, and financial abuse and exploitation. The awarded Smart Voice Simultaneous Translator will enable CPD volunteers to serve non-English speaking community members in real time using this two-way translation device. The device translates Spanish and seven other languages, has a camera that translates printed text, and can be used on the phone or in-person.
  • Juliana Todeschi: Housing & Human Services Department - Casa de la Esperanza Casa de la Esperanza is a 32-unit residential community for agricultural workers. The funds for this proposal will be used to purchase ACT & SAT books, practice tests, and materials for the Casa de la Esperanza Learning Center to launch a higher education exploration and prep program for high school-aged Casa students. The program is aimed at fostering excellence and self-empowerment among participants, many of whom are first-generation Americans from migrant families, and whose parents did not attend college.
  • Nicole Hubert: Housing & Human Services Department - Casa de la Esperanza Casa’s Learning Center does not currently have any programs dedicated to children ages birth to six years. This award will be used to purchase books and educational play items needed to launch an early intervention and development program for preschool-aged Casa children. The program will focus on developing cognitive, language, and social-emotional skills, and the materials purchased will remain a permanent part of the program’s resource library.
  • Rachel Findlay & Grazina Dagyte: Housing & Human Services Department - Casa de la Esperanza The Robotics Program, for kindergarten to 2nd graders, is a new addition to Casa's Robotics program. The goal of the program is to build confidence in creating, foster teamwork, and nurture excitement around learning. The awarded funds will be used to purchase a model rocket & engine kit and Lego volcano, castle, and technic kits. Using these kits will reinforce STEAM concepts and encourage participants to become tomorrow’s tech pioneers.
  • Carolyn Smith: Housing & Human Services Department - Case Management & Community Outreach (CMCO) Kestrel is a 55+ affordable housing site run by the Boulder County Housing Authority. The funds from this award will be used in the Kestrel Helping Hands program to purchase kits and supplies for making 108 No Sew Throw blankets. Helping Hands participants make blankets for donation to the Louisville Fire and Police Departments. First responders, in turn, provide these blankets to victims of trauma at fires, car accidents, children's services events, etc.
  • Brande Charnoff, Jenea DeQuasie, and Staci Anderson: Parks & Open Space Department, Extension - Boulder County 4-H Adult Leader’s Advisory Council The Boulder County 4-H Adult Leader’s Advisory Council provides a platform for 4-H leaders and adults to share ideas on programming, club management and overall 4-H program direction. This award will be used to purchase Sheep and Beef Livestock Learning Kits for use by 4-H members and volunteer leaders. These reusable kits provide professional, research-based information and activities, covering topics such as anatomy, breeds, conformation, medicine, and handling. The reusable kits will remain a permanent program resource for years to come.
  • Brande Charnoff: Parks & Open Space Department, Extension - Boulder County 4-H Adult Leader’s Advisory Council This award will be used to purchase sewing machines and supplies for the 4-H STEAM clothing program. Currently, Extension staff are borrowing sewing machines from other counties for the program. The addition of these items will help the program meet its STEAM education goals, including life skill development and volunteer engagement, and will give staff the ability to offer more programs and increase enrollment.
  • Carter Angel: Public Health Department - Child Health Promotion, Cooks Circle Program This program provides education and a support network for child care program cooks to improve menus and prepare and serve more nutritious foods to children in child care. This award will be used to purchase cooking mandolines and mandoline gloves, which Cooks Circle chefs can use at their child care facilities to prepare meals and snacks efficiently and in new ways that appeal to children. The mandolines and gloves will remain a part of their kitchens for many years. Additional funds will be used to purchase a Farm Tub (self-watering raised garden bed), which will teach children the process of growing vegetables from seed to harvest.
  • Catherine Murphy: Sheriff’s Office - Operations & Jail Divisions This award will used to purchase the books and workbooks needed to create a new women's Victim Impact program at the Boulder County Jail. Modeled after the existing 8-week men’s program, this 4-5 week program will be based on the “Houses of Healing” book and will be tailored to the needs of the female inmate population. The program will be aimed at reducing recidivism and will benefit the inmates, their families, jail staff, and the community.

National Volunteer Week Boulder County

For more information about Boulder County’s Volunteer program, please visit www.BoulderCountyVolunteers.org. Boulder County government has a range of one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities depending on the area of interest.