Over the years, since 2003, the IDB Retirement Association has rewarded associates who volunteer in activities that make an extremely important contribution to the well-being of others. We know that many IDB / IIC retirees devote their time and expertise to the benefit of their communities by taking on the efforts and responsibilities that go beyond themselves and their families. The Volunteer of the Year award was established to recognize an AJBID associate for exceptional services rendered to the community.
Among the winners of previous years have been associates who deal with many areas of interest in their communities. On the other hand, women, men and men have been rewarded with a wide range of topics ranging from caring for people with serious illnesses (cancer, AIDS, mental illness, blindness, dyslexia) to social issues (especially Latino immigrant populations in the USA, Children at risk of domestic violence, trafficking in persons and deportation, the homeless, homeless, and urban prisoners) to issues of resource generation for non-governmental institutions dedicated to education and social protection in developing countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Chile), as well as retirees personally dedicated to teaching immigrant children and adults. All of them continue to be examples of authentic service to their neighbors, giving their effort and love daily.
This year we have the opportunity to reward an associate who has for many years developed her work at the service of others through civil society institutions that serve as channels of communication and dialogue between citizens and the government. In democratic societies, political parties serve as channels for directing aspirations and goals of citizens, but civil society organizations are the most appropriate means of connecting the aspirations, needs and expectations of daily life of those citizens with actions of governments Which are increasingly complex and often very bureaucratic. These civil society organizations are critically dependent on the voluntary work of their members. The natural associativity between people who live as neighbors allows their needs to be expressed and reach those who decide on the use of public resources more quickly and efficiently.
On this occasion, and by unanimous decision of the members of the Prize Committee, composed of Gabriela Vega, Ana Knopf and Orlando Reos as coordinator, it was decided to award the Volunteer of the Year Award to Faith Wheeler, who lives in Washington DC.
Faith has been a member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Takoma Park district of Washington DC. For 15 years he has participated in different functions in that Commission by electing the citizens of his neighborhood and other civic institutions of the city and other states of the Union, bringing there his professional capacity, his solidarity with good causes and his indefatigable attitude of service.
Although it is very lengthy to detail all of Faith Wheeler’s activities as a volunteer, some of the actions to mention of her long career are:
Elected for six consecutive terms as a member of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) in Vice President and Treasurer positions representing the Takoma Park district. The choice of neighbors is non-partisan and the Council is concerned with helping to resolve all issues that are of interest to residents (environmental, safety, urban upgrading, alcohol licensing, etc.). He has also held the ANC Committee on urban infrastructure issues.
Member of the Community Advisory Committee for the remodeling and functionalization of the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington that allows incorporating the opinion of the neighbors in the Master Plan of that project.
Coordinator of Safe Takoma Inc.’s action program, a non-profit organization that guides safety actions for the Takoma Park district. In particular, he has founded and collaborated in the conduct of seminars on Leadership for Conflict Resolution in neighborhood disputes and in high schools in the city. This has had an important effect on improving relations between groups and individuals resident in Washington DC and on the public safety of the city.
Member of the Neighborhood Committee to propose and supervise building, cultural and art beautification works in public places for the district in Takoma Park.
Author of a manual translating legal and judicial terms to support the work of immigrant and refugee advocates