To honor individuals and groups in the Sacramento community who go above and beyond in the area of human services, the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Human Services Coordinating Council have hosted the Heroes of Human Services Awards for the past 12 years. There was a full house in the Board Chambers on Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the 2018 awards ceremony with many friends and family in attendance to celebrate the honorees.
The 16 honorees ranged in characteristics, but they all have one thing in common: They have, in one way or another, touched the lives of others in the community through their advocacy, dedication, services and support.
With a ‘can do’ attitude and an infectious laugh, Carol Ichiho brings the community together through her dedication in giving back. Carol is an inspiration to retirees, reminding them to never stop learning and to do the things they enjoy frequently. Carol is part of a music club that entertains various senior centers in Sacramento, knits and crochets goods for the annual craft and bake sale, and is always available to volunteer.
- Assistance League of Sacramento
Formed in 1968, this nonprofit recognized the homeless crisis and stepped up to provide meaningful support and solutions. Their team of over 200 volunteers are making a difference in the community and, for their efforts, were awarded over $8,400 in 187 grants in eight months to assist homeless in their pursuit of housing.
- Black Child Development Institute Sacramento
Sharon Saffold is a “difference maker.” Her work with the National Council of Negro Women, Calvary Christian Center and with Sacramento County as a social worker has helped give countless young women the skills needed to raise children. Sharon’s goal is to serve the needs of parents of underserved children and provide young ladies with leadership skills to succeed.
- CD Dangerfield Enterprises
For the last 16 years, retired Law Enforcement Chief Charles Dangerfield has had a passion for giving back to the Sacramento-area by mentoring young men and the less fortunate. Charles is a role model for many men in the community and tirelessly helps the next generation learn the meaning of honor, integrity and becoming productive citizens.
- Community Against Sexual Harm (CASH)
Helping the community’s most vulnerable women, CASH gets women who have been commercially sexually exploited, trafficked, or involved in prostitution off the streets, stabilizes the lives of their families, improves neighborhoods and increases public safety. Together with their partners, CASH works to help women regain their self-esteem and hope for a better future.
- Drowning Accident Rescue Team (DART)
DART partners with Sacramento County Regional Parks to provide water safety education and life jacket fittings during the summer. DART members are ready to act during an in-water emergency along the American and Sacramento rivers. Since it began, DART members have been involved in numerous water rescues.
- Friends of the Dry Creek Parkway
Whether it is weed-pulling or planting wildflowers, volunteer Randy is constantly working to ensure the creek and parkways are beautiful for everyone to enjoy. Randy’s dedication to the parkway is an unmatched asset to the Rio Linda and Elverta communities, and he can only be described as an “unsung hero of genuine human service.”
- Mercy Housing California – Leataata Floyd Student and Family Community Center
A role model to the low income youth of Marina Vista and Alder Grove, Ashlei Hurst is a mentor for Project Voice. Available 24/7, Ashlei helps youth flourish academically and emotionally while also guiding youth resources, including clothes, food, and school supplies. Recently Ashlei even accompanied a young woman on her college tours in New Orleans and later that year traveled back to settle her into her dorm.
- Rio Linda/Elverta Closet
Seven days a week, Catherine Green and Brenda Conover help those who are forgotten in the community. For the last five years, using their own funds, these ladies have helped as many elderly, homeless and less fortune in their community as they possibly can by providing meals, support with documents, clothing, Christmas baskets, pet food donations, arranging warming and cooling centers and much more.
Year after year Geri Beck donates her time to the Rotary Club, as well as 10 other local service organizations. To name a few, Geri’s compassion has led her to support Family Promise, Women’s Empowerment, Center Point, Carmichael Homeless Assistance Resource Team, River Oak Center for Children and the Rotary. Geri is an inspiration to all she works with.
- Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance (DHA)
In 2015, DHA staff, Victoria Ramirez, Jared Dennis, Elina Mikitiuk, Mae Yang and Seng Moua created DHA CARES (Connect, Assist, Respond, Engage and Serve) to give staff opportunities to volunteer in the community. This compassionate group has over 210 DHA staff members and is always thinking of innovative ways to get involved and improve Sacramento.
- Sacramento Self Help Housing
A trailblazer in human service, Ken Bennett goes above and beyond to help those without homes to have a safe option. Always treating everyone with dignity and respect, Ken can often be found sitting with our homeless neighbors, motivating and helping them seek solutions for a brighter future.
- Volunteers of Starting Point for Refugee Children
Inspired by refugee student stories on resettlement struggles in the U.S., this nonprofit supports children as they begin their new lives in the greater Sacramento area. In its first year alone, volunteers impacted the lives of over 1,000 newcomers.
Organizations and individuals like these can inspire people of all ages to volunteer and make a difference in the community. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Human Services Coordinating Council are proud to honor these Heroes of Human Service.