[Photo: (L to R) Jessica Gearing (Advisory Board Chair); Ludie Randle (AAGP Senior); Wendy Butts (Ex. Dir.); Cynthia Tucker (AAGP Senior)]
On January 19th, Adopt-A-Grandparent became a 2012 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award where Chief Justice Ward Sears gave the keynote address, and nine other honorees were recognized during an evening of fellowship and celebration.
“The 2012 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee of the Rollins School of Public Health and the Goizueta Business School of Emory University recognized those members of our community who raise awareness of social injustice, speak on behalf of justice, celebrate diversity, and impel action in building a better future for all mankind.” The three categories of concentration this year were: “Service And Advocacy: Who will give voice to the marginalized?”; “Programs For Children: Who will stand for our children?”; and “Innovation For Change: Who will have the courage to innovate?”. Adopt-A-Grandparent was honored for its service to seniors within the “Innovation For Change” category for bringing in-home ministry support to seniors struggling with Late-Life Depression issues, and for taking Adopt-A-Grandparent to the streets to provide blankets, meals, and basic-need toiletries, to chronically homeless seniors living under Atlanta’s overpasses. The Emory Community Service Committee expressed their appreciation to Adopt-A-Grandparent for our “pursuit of social justice” on behalf of at-risk seniors, and for “constructing new ways to address persistent challenges in the lives of the marginalized”. Please visit Emory’s website for more details on this illustrious honor and to see the other 2012 Honorees http://www.sph.emory.edu/AWARDS/2012/index.html).
During the Award ceremony, each Award recipient was asked to deliver a brief acceptance speech on behalf of their agency. I would like to share my words of acceptance with you as our partners:
“The Adopt-A-Grandparent Advisory Board – Our Beloved Seniors – Volunteers – along with Myself, are humbled to be recognized by the prestigious Emory University and Key Departments. It is not lost on me that, today, through this award, you have graciously connected our small ministry and humble mission with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – and that is phenomenal to my spirit. Although, to be recognized for doing God’s work was never in my vision – to be awarded, today, for trying to bring dignity and love to seniors who are struggling with Late Life Depression issues – or seniors who are literally aging on the streets – tells me that God may be pleased with Adopt-A-Grandparent for today. I want you to know that receiving this award greatly encourages us to continue advocating for seniors – especially in this challenging economy when raising funds can be difficult. This award also reminds us that God is watching and expecting that we never shut up our bowels of compassion for those He has called Adopt-A-Grandparent to serve. And, this award holds me personally accountable for seeking God’s guidance – every day – on how to continue leveraging this agency to be a voice of advocacy and grace for ailing seniors in our communities. I thank you so very much for this beautiful honor. May God bless the Community Service Committee and each organization represented here this evening. Thank you.”
Dearest Partners, I give God glory for the way you have supported Adopt-A-Grandparent, because everything that you have done has been instrumental for helping our seniors. Emory University’s recognition of our collective work and love towards seniors means that this wonderful award also belongs to each one of you. If you would consider continuing your partnership with Adopt-A-Grandparent throughout this year, I promise to commit your contributions to bringing quality of life to seniors in meaningful ways. Many blessings and Happy New Year!
Wendy Butts, Executive Director