Lisa V. Ford’s “Heart & Soul Volunteer Award” Winners Announced with The Children's Center of Wayne County

Share Article

Volunteers Honored for Committment and Service to Children's Mental Health and Wellness

Debora Matthews and Tammy Zonker of The Children's Center with Outstanding Volunteers from Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority

Last month, The Children’s Center (TCC) hosted their eighth annual Lisa V. Ford Heart & Soul Volunteer Award Luncheon to show thanks and appreciation for TCC volunteers who give their time and talents to further the organization’s mission to help children and families shape their own future.

The event, held on June 6, 2016 and presented by Ford Motor Company, honored volunteers who have completed 20 or more hours of service during the past year. Award nominations are submitted annually to recognize volunteers who demonstrate Lisa's spirit of generosity and altruism for the children and families served by The Children's Center.

Honors are presented in five categories:

  • Lisa V. Ford Heart & Soul Award: Established in 2009, seeks to recognize an extraordinary volunteer who embodies a generous spirit and outstanding commitment to the children and families TCC serves.
  • Community Service Award: Given to a community/civic organization that demonstrates exceptional organizational initiative, participation, and commitment to the center through volunteerism and service.
  • Corporate Friend Award: Recognizes a corporation or business that exemplifies a strong commitment through employee volunteer efforts and partnership.
  • Head Start Academy Parent Volunteer Award: Honors a parent with a student in the Head Start Academy and who goes above and beyond to have a positive impact for all Academy children and staff.
  • TCC Staff Volunteer of the Year: Spotlights an employee of The Children’s Center who continues to support the mission of TCC beyond their working hours.

The following volunteers have made outstanding contributions to The Children’s Center. 2016 award winners are:

Jennifer Fruehauf, Lisa V. Ford Heart & Soul Award

Jenny has been a cherished volunteer at The Children’s Center for more than five years. As a Board Member of Tau Beta Association, she has been an ambassador of the Center’s mission and broadened the community’s awareness of the daily challenges facing children and families. Jenny has been involved with a variety of projects and recruited volunteers, donors and supporters to join her efforts along the way. She mobilized teen volunteers to make dozens of blankets for families, plan a special tea party for the General Behavior Health program, create St. Patrick’s Day arts & crafts with children and host an annual pumpkin patch and decorating day for families. Most recently, Jenny implemented a reading program at our Head Start Academy. Jenny exemplifies all of the qualities that the Lisa V. Ford award seeks to recognize and embodies The Children’s Center core values.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Community Service Award

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority first became involved with TCC in 2013 and has volunteered at Holiday Shop, Summer Smash, and spent hours assisting in the Boutique. They have hosted Family Game Nights and a baby shower for expecting mothers on campus. In addition to volunteering their time, the group has led donation drives for Back to School supplies and Holiday Shop. Individual members have also become involved by volunteering for AutoGlow and the Power of Possibilities Breakfast. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Sigma Gamma Rho provided more than 200 hours of volunteer time.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, Corporate Friend Award 

The Advanced Stamping Manufacturing Engineering (ASME) group at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US has been a loyal and dedicated group of volunteers for many years. For 2015, this included providing Table Captains and securing guests for three tables at TCC’s annual Power of Possibilities Breakfast, organizing a donation station drive for the “House Area” for all twelve Head Start classrooms, spending an afternoon role-playing with Head Start children, supplying volunteers for Summer Smash, holding a Clinical Activity Box Refresh Drive to replenish materials for TCC clinicians, hosting an evening Art Adventure session, and supporting the Holiday Shop.
Nalani Miller, Head Start Academy Parent Volunteer Award

Nalani is a well-known parent volunteer. She plans family enrichment opportunities such as Mommy Time Tea, Ice Cream Socials, Painting with a Twist, Hustle Class, Zumba, Jamboree, computer classes and resume writing workshops, led meaningful discussions on cyber bullying, and opened a weekly school “café” for parents to meet, socialize and discuss school business. She recruits parents to get involved in the school and encourages participation in activities. She volunteers her time at the front desk, assists with the data entry, assembles gift baskets and helps with family events. Nalani also serves as the parent liaison between TCC’s Head Start Academy and Wayne County Health and Human Services as well as the governing board for Head Start.

Emily Boelter and Fatima Thomas, Staff Volunteer of the Year Award

Emily has been a TCC Head Start Academy teacher since it opened and is looked upon as a mentor to many of her peers. You’ll see Emily outside the classroom volunteering her personal time at numerous afterschool enrichment activities such as Movie Night With Dad, A Night Out With Dad, Family Game Night, Healthy Fun Day With Dad and Harvest Ball. Emily exercises core values in all that she does and goes above and beyond to ensure students and families have a great experience at Head Start.
Fatima joined the TCC Head Start Academy as a teacher in 2012. Throughout her years, Fatima has volunteered hundreds of hours of her personal time at various events and activities. Most recently she shared her time at a county-wide Night Out With Dad, TCC resource fair, Harvest Ball, Movie Night, Family Game Night and Healthy Fun Day With Dad. Fatima always has a smile on her face, is dedicated to early childhood education and puts her students and their families at the center of all that she does at The Children’s Center.

About The Children’s Center    
Since 1929, The Children's Center has been empowering children and families to shape their own futures in Midtown Detroit. Annually, more than 7,500 children and families receive evidence-based therapeutic mental and behavioral health services from The Children's Center to help them overcome emotional and intellectual challenges, trauma from abuse, neglect and poverty. Learn more about The Children's Center and our comprehensive array of services at or call (313) 831-5535.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kate Hill
Yield PR
+1 3128601044
Email >
Visit website