2014 Volunteer Honorees

2014 was another successful year for Humanity Road. We responded to 167 disasters; 57 in the USA, and 109 in over 44 other countries across six continents.

As a reverse 5th birthday present, we’re recognizing our hardest-working volunteers for all they did to save lives in 2014. Through their demonstrated commitment and example, volunteers inspire others to engage in volunteer service.

Global Fellowship Award – Aline Carr

The Global Fellowship Award is selected by our whole team, to recognize a teammate’s yearlong commitment to fellowship and humanitarian principles. This is our highest volunteer honor, representing honesty, integrity, community, engagement, collaboration and commitment.

The 2014 Global Fellowship Award goes to Aline Carr, our Volunteer Management Coordinator. She brings new volunteers up to speed and keeps their response efforts coordinated. She joined Humanity Road in September of 2012. Since then, she’s volunteered hundreds of hours with the organization, including coordinating volunteers and training and responding to numerous disasters. In February of 2013, she was one of several Humanity Road volunteers invited to the White House to recognize the support they provided during Hurricane Sandy. In January 2014, she flew to Florida to assist Cat Graham in providing an introduction to Virtual Operations Support Group training at the annual FL state Citizen Corps Conference. Also in 2014, she assisted in coordinating Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) member organizations providing program support for the World Humanitarian Summit. More recently she has focused on improving Humanity Road’s disaster response procedures, and on developing response roles based on the Incident Command System.

Here are a few words from her fellow teammates:

“I would like to spotlight the work of Aline Carr in her capacity as Team Lead for Volunteer Management. Aline adeptly welcomes and teaches new and seasoned volunteers how we work during disaster response, and how we prepare information reports to help disaster victims survive and recover. In my humble opinion, Aline is an accomplished researcher and compassionate communicator, helping both HR volunteers and victims of emergencies and disasters along a course that meets their needs.”

“Aline deserves a Queen of HR Award. She does so much for the organization and each volunteer and does it all quietly, carefully, and cheerfully!!”

“I’d recommend Aline because she’s always online! She’s been doing a great job managing volunteers and taking care of lots of things behind the scene. She’s sophisticated in terms of both responding to disasters and supporting other volunteers.”

President’s Choice Award – Aline Carr

This medal is awarded to a volunteer selected by our President (Chris Thompson) for leadership and teamwork. This volunteer has rendered excellent service during one or more major disasters, and also day-by-day throughout the year.

“The essence of leadership is trust. Leadership creates conditions of trust within an organization. Leaders take organizations past the level that the science of management says is possible. And this embodies the approach that Aline takes in her leadership role at Humanity Road. For two consecutive years, Aline has been chosen by her team mates for the Fellowship award. And in 2014 she also qualified for the Presidential Gold award and participated in all major disaster response activities in 2014. Aline is a strong leader and leads selflessly in her role as volunteer management coordinator.

It is my honor to recognize Aline with the President’s Choice Award.” – President Chris Thompson

Mercury Award – Alice McGowen

This award goes to our disaster responder of the year. Mercury Award winners take the initiative in covering emerging disasters year-round, whether through the disaster desk, social media support or administrative support.

The 2014 Mercury Award goes to Alice McGowen, who responded to 96 events in 2014. She’s constantly at work (she’s sharing Red Cross safety info for victims of the recent Chile volcanic eruptions as I write this.) Alice is Team Leader of the Vulnerable Population/Service Dog Team for Humanity Road. She established the Disability, Accessibility and Functional Needs social media awareness program (#DAFN). Alice is a retired Certified Nurse, Central Service Tech, and Certified Nurses Aid; she lives in Illinois with her service animal, Annie. Alice has been disabled for 21 years and has had and trained two service dogs.

Here are a few words from her fellow teammates:

“Being involved with HR gave Alice a new lease on life. Her contributions are everywhere. She writes blogs, tracks and posts data for disasters, joins in our crazy camaraderie, and is so integral to our team, it’s hard to imagine how we ever got along without her.”

“I think Alice McGowen goes above and beyond in every response she does. She always seems to be monitoring events and bringing them to everyone’s attention.”

“Alice is a true humanitarian that I try to be like and use as my role model…Thank you Alice for what you have brought into my life and those we work with and for!”

Global Citizenship Coin – Claudia Espinosa Scholtbach

The Global Citizenship Coin recognizes true global citizens, who help bring aid and solutions to disaster victims worldwide. This coin is presented by our Disaster Desk to a citizen or volunteer who helps support global unity of action and collaboration.

Claudia Espinosa, our Public Information Officer for Social Media Emergency Management, graduated from Universidad de Chile´s Law School. She recently moved to the U.S. to expand her international experience in disaster relief and humanitarian aid. She´s interested in human rights, humanitarian law and emergency management. She is helping us develop our social media plan for our Animals in Disaster program area, and helps monitor and respond to disasters. She wrote articles for our 2014 Annual Report, and also does interviews for our HR Talk blog. She tweets under @Clau_EsPiNoSa_S.

“I would like to spotlight Claudia. Claudia is always willing to help in anyway she can, she is very friendly and so easy to work with. It doesn’t matter if it is a large disaster, or writing an article, or testing a new program, she is one of the first to ask how she can help. Ad I am pretty sure she has done many projects out of sight, that I don’t know about.” – Alice McGowen

“Claudia S, is a super star. She is so passionate and collaborative. I look forward to working with her more. She is going to make the world a better place!”

Over the five years of HR’s existence, we’ve built an organization that’s internationally active, recognized, and trusted. We have been published in articles in CNN, CNN Mexico, CNN International, USA Today, and Forbes. We have been invited to speak at the White House, the Pentagon, FEMA, Cambodia, Singapore, Hawaii, and the Philippines.

Though HR collates and provides disaster data, our main focus is on the victims who need help. Finding and responding to people’s urgent needs is our first priority in a disaster.

Between our volunteers’ round-the-clock disaster-relief coordination in Vanuatu and our day-to-day relief efforts, 2015 is already off to a productive start. We’ve already come a long ways down this Road; let’s see just how far we can go!

If you want to help pave our worldwide Road to safer tomorrows, then consider donating or volunteering your time!

Pictured: Aline Car Recipient of the President’s Choice Award

Pictured: Alice McGowen Mercury Award Recipient

Pictured: Claudia Espinosa Scholtbach Global Citizenship Coin Recipient