To that end, current World Renew-DRS director Bill Adams cast a vision for DRS’s work in 2012 and beyond, joined by previous directors Neil Molenaar (1972-1990), Michael Bruinooge (1990-1997), and Bev Abma (1997-2002).
The keynote speaker was Rev. David L. Myers, director of the US Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Other speakers included Rev. Randy G. Vaughn, Senior Pastor at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Port Arthur, Texas, and director of relief and development for the National Baptist Convention; and Cindy Vander Laan, Volunteer Coordinator at Orland Park, Illinois, CRC.
The evening was a celebration of music, fellowship, and renewed friendships among volunteers from all over North America who have helped neighbors in need after a disaster because of God’s love for them.
Eariler in the day, nearly every volunteer attending the week’s events received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. The awards recognize volunteers for 100 (bronze) to more than 4,000 (lifetime) hours of service. Among the vounteers at the event, four received bronze awards, one received a silver, 91 received gold awards, and 81 volunteers received Lifetime awards.
“Our volunteers give so generously of their time and talents that we want to honor them in some way on this occasion..."
“Our volunteers give so generously of their time and talents that we want to honor them in some way on this occasion,” Bill Adams said. “Each award includes a personalized certificate, congratulatory letter from President Obama, and a lapel pin.”
The awards were established in 2003 by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to recognize and honor those who, like World Renew-DRS volunteers, contribute their time and talents to local communities and inspire others with their commitment to service.
“Many thousands of disaster survivors have benefitted from our volunteer’s compassion and hard work,” Adams says. “Their service-oriented mindset and skills are recognized and appreciated in the disaster response community.”
Two couples recognized during the evening had more in common than their dedication to service through World Renew-DRS. Mike (Colleen) Hoyer, and Henry (Linda) Visscher were both employed as Principals of Immanuel Christian High School in the 1990s. The couples are from Lethbridge CRC in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The Thursday evening anniversary celebration was part of a three-day training workshop for volunteers.