Volunteers honored at Bridge Builders

Each year, Metropolitan Ministries awards the E. Earl Jeter Jr. Volunteer of the Year Award to volunteers who go above and beyond to become leaders in their roles. 

As we expanded our reach, we want to recognize the very best volunteers who support us directly or through partnerships to collaborate to meet needs in the hardest-hit communities in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough counties in 2019 and 2020.

Pinellas County Winners

Our very first Pinellas Volunteer of the Year for 2019 is JoAnn Fitzpatrick. JoAnn has been volunteering with Oldsmar Cares for six years, serving as Volunteer Operation Director. In the last two years, their holiday meal program has doubled and in large part due to JoAnn’s effort in making this partnership a reality. 

Our 2020 Pinellas Volunteer of the Year is Metro’s Board Member, Bryan Van Vranken. Beyond hours of volunteer leadership on the Board of Directors, Bryan did extraordinary service this summer by delivering food boxes to the homebound in Pinellas. This past holiday season on both sides of the Bay, Bryan provided countless hours of volunteer leadership. 

Pasco County Winners

Our 2019 Pasco Volunteers of the Year is David & Janet Ashton. This dynamic duo has been volunteering with Metro since June of 2015. Not only do they serve two days a week in our Family Support Center in Pasco, but they both also serve as Holiday Volunteer Leaders. 

Our 2020 Pasco Volunteers of the Year are Xiomara Luciano and Samantha Miro-Heyman. Xiomara & Samantha, otherwise known as the “Birthday Party Ladies,” have been coordinating monthly birthday parties for our families that live on the Pasco campus since 2017. This dynamic duo creates a huge extravaganza and a different themed party every month. Not only do they have these wonderful monthly parties, but they also coordinate special events throughout the year as well as food and toy donation drives with support from their companies Pinnacle Home Healthcare and Geographic Solutions.

Hillsborough County Winners

Our 2019 Hillsborough Volunteer of the Year is Nancy Iben. Nancy volunteers as a licensed clinical supervisor for many of the counseling interns working at Metropolitan Ministries using her decades of expertise. She has been a volunteer since 2014. She serves multiple times per week, leading, coaching, and caring for interns, staff, and clients.

Tampa’s Volunteer of the year for 2020 Laurie Ellis. Laurie has been faithfully donating her time and treasures for years, and in 2020, she was instrumental in ensuring over 100,000 toys went to children in need all across Tampa Bay.

When you give today, your gift will have three times the impact! Thanks to the Triad Foundation, Analgesic Health Care, and an anonymous donor, a triple match is in place until March 13, 2021. That means more resources and support for families and moms like Rose.