Volunteers, Community Partners honored

Published Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Crisis Assistance Ministry recently celebrated the role of volunteers in preventing homelessness and preserving dignity for struggling families in Mecklenburg County. In the most recent fiscal year, caring community members served over 43,000 hours, a gift of time valued at more than $1 million.

Individual Honors

Individual volunteers Nancy Sipe and Chris Watson each received the agency’s highest volunteer honor: the Shirley Henry Outstanding Volunteer award.

Chris Watson (photo) has volunteered over 575 hours providing assistance and advocacy to low-income families visiting Crisis Assistance Ministry’s satellite location at Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson. A volunteer since 2013, she is seen as the “go to” volunteer to fill in for others, to solve technology problems, and to provide clear, professional information to individuals seeking assistance.

Nancy Sipe (photo) was also recognized for more than 400 hours of service including piloting an appointment process for individuals and families receiving beds. A volunteer since 2013, she was one of the first volunteers trained to use the agency’s customer service database. She serves weekly as a connector for individuals and families seeking beds, furniture, and appliances free-of-charge at the agency’s Furniture Bank.

Community Partners

Atrium Health, TASC Online, and UNC Charlotte were recognized as Outstanding Community Partners, while Freedom House received Outstanding Faith Partner recognition.

Atrium Health was honored for over 2,000 hours of service including this year’s collection of over 10,000 coats, scarves, gloves, and toiletry kits for families who shop free-of-charge at Crisis Assistance Ministry. Atrium’s Andrea Williams and Ellie Kunath accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

TASC Online was recognized for their team’s volunteerism including the creation of the “Jingle Fleece” project which created and distributed new fleece blankets to families seeking assistance during the holiday season. In presenting the award, Crisis Assistance Ministry’s Bonnie Tiernan noted that TASC Online volunteers routinely offer to perform whatever task is most urgently needed, ensuring that the basic needs of families can always be met.  Lynne Walker accepted the award on behalf of TASC Online.

UNC Charlotte was recognized for ongoing volunteerism including the purchase and assembly of thousands of toiletry kits for families and individuals who visit Crisis Assistance Ministry. Athletic staff, faculty, student organizations, and a variety of departments have gifted over 3,000 hours to families served by the agency. Audra Acey accepted the award on behalf of the organization.

Outstanding Faith Partner Freedom House was honored for their commitment to serving struggling families including loading and unloading furniture once a month for formerly homeless individuals as they move into permanent housing. Freedom House volunteers also purchase and serve refreshments for families seeking financial assistance and assist in inspecting and preparing donated items for neighbors who visit Crisis Assistance Ministry for basics like clothing and household goods.

About Crisis Assistance Ministry

Crisis Assistance Ministry is Mecklenburg County’s Lead Agency offering emergency financial assistance to low-income families. Specifically, Crisis Assistance Ministry helps families facing financial crisis by: providing for basic needs including emergency rent and utility assistance, clothing, furniture, beds, appliances and household goods; fostering economic mobility through partnerships, one-on-one coaching, and support that help families rebuild financial stability; and empowering the community to advocate for people facing poverty. On a typical day, nearly 200 families seek assistance through the independent, nonprofit agency located in Charlotte. Visit crisisassistance.org or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to learn more.



Pictured: Director of Volunteer Engagement Karla Emery presents Shirley Henry Outstanding Volunteer Award to Chris Watson.








Pictured: Director of Volunteer Engagement Karla Emery presents Shirley Henry Outstanding Volunteer Award to Nancy Sipe.








 Pictured:  Atrium Health's Ellie Kunath, Crisis Assistance Ministry CEO Carol Hardison, and Atrium Health's Andrea Williams.








Pictured: UNC Charlotte's Audra Acey with Crisis Assistance Ministry Chief Program Officer Tchernavia Montgomery.