United Way Volunteers of the Year - Pat and Gary Russell
Below is the letter received May 5, 2017, from Providence Place in San Antonio, a partnering agency with the NOMADS:
The mission of Providence Place is to empower young adults with disabilities seeking independent futures and those on the adoption journey. Pat and Gary Russell, as well as many other NOMADS, have been long time advocates for our mission and have proven their dedication to our mission through past projects such as hand-building wheelchair ramps to create accessibility on our campus for individuals with walking impairments, hand-building dressers and furniture for our clients’ dormitories, renovating our education and training facilities, renovating our chapel, and much more. In April of 2017, Pat and Gary Russell, representing the NOMADS, were nominated by Providence Place for the United Way Volunteer of the Year Award (2016) for their humble and dedicated service as volunteers. Providence Place has been blessed for many years by the earnest work of NOMADS traveling the country seeking to offer personal skill sets and volunteer labor to organizations, like ours, in need. Nominating Pat and Gary was the perfect way for us to honor their work as NOMADS, and the work of other NOMADS who came before them and of those who will come after.
We are pleased to announce that Pat, Gary, and the NOMADS won the 2016 United Way Volunteer of the Year Award in the Crisis Intervention Category, running up against over 700 other non-profits in the San Antonio, Texas area! This is a huge accomplishment worth celebrating!
Along with their nomination, Pat and Gary received $1000.00 of grant money to bestow upon the organization of their choice, and they have chosen to give this gift to BSA Hospice of Amarillo, TX in honor of their late daughter, Robyn Decker. Above all else, Pat and Gary want to thank our Lord and Savior for allowing them to use their gifts for His glory. They point back to the NOMADS and recognize all the moments where the work of the other volunteers may have felt unnoticed or over looked, and remind and encourage their fellow friends of the huge impact that they make even when it feels small.
We look forward to our continued collaboration with Pat and Gary and the NOMADS to make a difference in the lives of our clients by means of campus improvements and renovations.
Thank you for your dedicated service!
And also a subsequent note from Gary and Pat Russell:
Providence Place was where we spent 3 months on a drop-in while our daughter was in Hospice. God used our time there in many ways. The work helped us cope, we saw others with much worse to deal with, our location and Providence Place allowed us to leave our rig and travel to our daughters whenever we needed. They gave us much more than we gave them, that's the way it always works. We are blessed that we can represent the Nomads organization and doubly blessed that God can still use this old carpenter and his wife. Gary and Pat Russell