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Federation of Social Workers to honor Sister Grace Miller

Sister Grace Miller will receive the 2022 W. Burton Richardson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Social Workers (FSW) at Thursday’s 16th annual Human Service Worker of the Year Awards luncheon.

The FWS will honor more than a dozen workers, volunteers and organizations at the event, which runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

For all or parts of seven decades, Miller has been a fierce advocate for community members who have needed a voice, including the poor, the homeless and those facing housing and employment discrimination.

She founded the House of Mercy homeless shelter in 1985 and oversaw operations until this year.

Others to be honored:

» Special Recognition Award For Extraordinary Human Service: Rochester Police Department officers Sino Seng and the late Anthony Mazurkiewicz.

» Human Service Worker of the Year (Public Sector): Carol Garrett, Monroe County Department of Human Services.

» Human Service Worker of the Year (Private Sector): Clay Harris, Uniting & Healing Through Hope.

» John Seebach Volunteer of the Year (two): Christine Castranova, House of Mercy, and Larry Morales Sr., Rochester Central School District.

» Corporate Contributor of the Year: Laborers Local No. 435.

» Non-Profit Organization of the Year (two): Embrace Your Sisters and Recovery All Ways.

» Bertina Forde Rising Star Award: Morgan Salisbury, MCDHS.

» Human Service Courage Award (two): Tyler Mirra and Matthew Cooper.

Founded in 1959, the Monroe County Federation of Social Workers IUE-CWA Local 81381 has 850 members and represents social workers, caseworkers, examiners, child care workers, investigators and child support examiners, as well as seniors and supervisors in those titles.

[email protected]/(585) 653-4020

Aging in Place Council honors four local individuals

The Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council has honored four local individuals for their service to others.

“Engagement and a sense of purpose have long been tied to better health outcomes as we age,” NAIPC officials said in a statement, noting that the Administration for Community Living marks May as Older Americans Month, with this year’s theme as “Communities of Strength.”

Local honorees include:
• Richard and Mary Ellen Darling, Darling’s Tree Farm
• Sister Grace Miller, House of Mercy
• Bonnie Feldstein, WeCare

The Darlings each have served as state chairs and board members for the Christmas Tree Farms Association of New York, and Richard Darling services as director. The couple also is involved in Trees for Troops, a program of the Christmas Spirit Foundation, where Richard is the national chairman.

Miller is the founder of House of Mercy, a homeless shelter that serves meals to roughly 400 people per day. The shelter has become more of a community center, with residents receiving medical and mental health support, as well as assistance for the elderly in skilled nursing placement.

Feldstein is the founder of WeCare, a program that designates representatives for each of the five sections of the community that can be called upon for support if a 9-1-1 call needs to be made or to offer temporary assistance after a medical event if mobility is impaired. The program also offers educational seminars on topics of interest that address health and welfare.

The Rochester Finger Lakes Chapter of NAIPC serves the older adults in the region through collaboration, education and advocacy to champion aging in place safely and with vitality.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Action for a Better Community plans event to help those in poverty

action-for-a-better-community-logoAction for a Better Community Inc. and the House of Mercy on Saturday will host an event to help homeless individuals and families in poverty. ABC’s teen leaders organized the event to serve the guests who reside at or eat meals at House of Mercy.

The event will consist of resource tables, barbers, nail painting, foot services, games and a live band. ABC and Salvatore’s will provide a pizza dinner for guests. ABC, Youth as Resources and Salvatore’s funded the event.

Teen leaders have delivered hygiene kits with invitations to the patrons at House of Mercy, as well as blankets they made. Guests of the event will receive backpacks with supplies and reusable water bottles.

ABC is a federally and state designated Community Action Agency serving Monroe and Ontario counties. The agency is one of nearly 1,000 CAAs nationwide and was incorporated in 1964. The organizations has more than 400 employees who provide services to assist people to become more self-sufficient.

house-of-mercy-logoHouse of Mercy is a grassroots homeless shelter and advocacy center that also provides food and clothing to those in need. The organization was opened by Sister Grace Miller, with help from Sisters of Mercy, in 1985.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer