Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2013 Governor's Outstanding Volunteeer Awards LCS Nominee - Richard Porto

This year LCS nominated Richard Porto of Wilmington as our Outstanding Volunteer for the 2013 Governor's Awards.  We had one of our own, Don Schaeffer win one of the coveted spots last year, and so chances of having a repeat two years in a row were tight.  I was contacted by the folks at the Governor's Awards and told it was a very tough decision making process, and that they had lots of entries and unfortunately Richard did not make it. Regardless they loved his story, and assured me that is just as hard for them to pick winners as it is for us to choose a nominee. But we wanted to put Richards story out there because we love Richard, like we love all of our volunteers.

Richard striking a pose at the 22nd Annual Walk/Run on Sept. 21st.
When choosing a volunteer as a nominee for the Governor's Awards, you are not trying to pick a "favorite" volunteer or the "best" volunteer, because we have so many of those. We are trying to pick someone to represent all of us. As I said last year to Don, you are there to "Take one for the team!" We are trying to select a representative for LCS and again, even that is no easy task. It's hard to pick someone, as you never like to be accused of playing favorites. But if we want to get some attention on the state level, someone... we must choose.

Richard Porto came to us after he received aid in the form of a down payment on an apartment after a foreclosure on his house and food for him and his wife. This aide helped them to get back on their feet and he said he wanted to give back to the agency that helped  him out so much.  I asked him to describe how he feels when he volunteers here at LCS and he said "I love the people, the job, the camaraderie - and that it's hard to put into words - It's that warm fuzzy glow you get when working here." 
Richard packing bags at the St. Stephen's pantry.
Richard has been a volunteer that likes variety! Out of the various food distribution locations we have which include stationary pantries, mobile pantries, clothing distribution, and produce distribution; there is always this familiar face at many of the locations. Richard has been working at our St. Stephen's Pantry, Zion Lutheran Church Pantry, Hope Lutheran Church Mobile Pantry, Shiloh Baptist Church Mobile Pantry, Clothing  Distribution and so much more!

Richard helps to unload trucks, pack bags, stock shelves...basically anything and everything we need. He fills in for me when I need folks at various sites while others are on vacation. Basically, Richard is someone we can call on at anytime and know we will get his help. Volunteers like this are a rare breed and we are ever so grateful to have someone like Richard with us.

Richard doing what he does best, working and smiling!
Richard began working with us in 2005 and since then he has put in over 4,000 hours of volunteer work, averaging about 400 hours a year. Richard is very committed to the work he does here and more important he BELIEVES in it and that what he is doing is truly making a difference in the world.

One of Richards hallmarks is that he always ends every conversation in person or on the phone by reminding you to have a "Very Blessed Day."

We want Richard to know how Blessed we are to have him here with us at LCS, that he is our winner, and that we hope he continues to be with us for years to come.

Thank you Richard for all that you do, and.... Have a Very Blessed Day!

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