The Delaware Salute to Service on Thursday showcased 14 Jefferson Awards to people and organizations that do good. The eighth annual program is by Multiplying Good, a Wilmington-based nonprofit that encourages public service that can be replicated or multiplied in other communities.
LEAD360 starts with people ages 5-25 submitting projects to solve problems they care about. A winning project is chosen, and the award celebrates those who activate the most. Students in Action trains young leaders. The honorees:
Outstanding Service by a Company or Organization: In 2015, after years of grieving, fighting laws and speaking out about the 2006 murder of Cameron D. Hamlin, the Hamlin family started the Cameron D. Hamlin Foundation to decrease gun violence and keep children active. Activities so far included annual community drives and college scholarships.
Outstanding Student-Led Service Project, LEAD360: Projects by the Seaford Middle School Builders Club included raising awareness of Down Syndrome, making crafts with the residents of Lofland Park Center and helping with Operation Support Our Troops for recently deployed Delaware Army National Guard troops.
Outstanding Service in the Multiplying Good LEAD360 Activation: Employees of Bank of America and their families donated items and packed 250 Manna Bags for the Sunday Breakfast Mission, Friendship House and the Ministry of Caring. Delaware 4-Hers packed 147 Manna Bags. The Students in Action Team at the Early College High School @ DSU packed 103 Manna Bags.
Outstanding Service by an Employee in the Workplace: ChristianaCare employee Christopher Moore is paying forward the support he had coming out, by encouraging others to live authentically. His activities include the United Way Pride Council, Gay-Straight Alliances and The Village, a community for LGBTQ+ youth.
Outstanding Service by an Employee in the Workplace: Beginning at age 16, Grace Dehel, who works for New Castle County, has helped with a mall gift-wrapping stand, which lately raises $10,000 a year for UNICEF.
Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities: Cool Shoes, an organization started by LaDaye “Cooley” Johnson, hosts summer camps and runs fundraisers and drives for the community.
Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities: The Inspiring Project, started by Chase Marvil when he was 15, aims to eliminate bullying and suicidal thoughts in people. His global positivity movement is now 400,000 strong.
Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities: For 15 years, retired Air Force Master Sgt. Bob Reese and other volunteers serve traditional holiday meals at Dover Air Force Base.
Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities: Sisters Zaria and Hailey Willard encourage children to read more by reading live at 8 p.m. on Facebook and Instagram with books from the Dover library.
Outstanding Service Benefiting Local Communities: Seaford businessman Jeffrey T. Benson Jr. every Wednesday teaches to life lessons to young men in The Gentlemen’s Club. The Air Force vet also launched a youth shareholder initiative with WSFS Bank and serves on the Seaford school board.
Outstanding Global, National or Local Service by a Young American: As a high school freshman, Megan Chen launched the Urban Garden Initiative to inspire youth on urban sustainability. She is working with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware and Newark Natural Foods.
“Outstanding Service by a High School: The Student in Action team at Newark Charter focused on child poverty by hosting food drives and winter wear drives. Their main project was a book donation to Stubbs Early Education Center.