|Pillars of Change: Celebrating Sanctuary's Volunteers|
Every year, Sanctuary for Families honors volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional service. Volunteers are essential to Sanctuary's ability to provide high-quality, personalized care to victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking.
On Thursday, May 1, we were thrilled to honor six remarkable volunteers (among them, five humans and one dog!) at our Pillars of Change event. View photos from the evening and read more about our volunteers below.
Sanctuary is so grateful to the thousands of volunteers who support the organization and those who seek our help by generously providing their skills, dedication and resources.
The 2014 Pillars of Change Volunteer Honorees:
Read about our amazing 2014 Volunteer Honorees!
Kevitt Adler graduated cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2012. At Michigan he was active in the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, helping clients contest IRS decisions and obtain favorable payment plans. He came to Sanctuary in October 2013 on a fellowship through the University of Michigan to work with Sonia Mansoor in public benefits. Upon the completion of his fellowship, Kevitt stayed on as a full-time volunteer attorney. Since then he has expanded his practice into housing, providing legal representation in housing court for clients facing eviction. In February 2014 Kevitt was officially hired as a Staff Attorney for Sanctuary’s Economic Justice Project. He continues to provide both housing and public benefits services to Sanctuary’s clients.
Beth currently works at Deloitte as a Senior Manager specializing in international tax consulting. She has been working as a tax professional in a career spanning more than 15 years. During her time in the client service group at Deloitte, she saw the value Deloitte placed on community service and participated in several community outreach events. When she moved to New York City three years ago, she was introduced to the volunteer opportunity with Sanctuary for Families’ Economic Empowerment Program through Deloitte’s New York Office. With the support of her group firmly behind her, Beth started volunteering with Sanctuary’s Office Operations Workshop (OOW) in the fall of 2011. She has been involved in each semester since. She has found this experience rewarding and enjoys seeing the wonderful transformation of the clients over the course of each semester.
Connie Cosner has a background in Rehabilitation Counseling, with experience working with mentally ill, incarcerated, elderly and youth populations. After a career change, she worked for nearly 35 years in law firm management with a focus in human resources and operations. While transitioning toward retirement, Connie became increasingly involved with Sanctuary for Families. Her volunteer efforts include assisting with events and mailings. As a member of Sanctuary’s Legal Advisory Committee and the Career Advancement Network, Connie serves as a liaison to New York area law firms to help find internship placements for Sanctuary’s clients. She also facilitates Mock Interview Sessions for Economic Empowerment Program (EEP) clients and has helped develop instructional and curriculum materials. Through her work with the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA), Connie was instrumental in getting Sanctuary chosen as the beneficiary for this year’s ALA benefit. The event raised over $11,000, which will fund the purchase of business suits and internship placements for clients involved in the Economic Empowerment Program’s Office Operations Workshop.
Jane Kopelman and Kelly
Jane Kopelman is a dog trainer and a certified evaluator for Pet Partners (formerly Delta Society), an organization that helps people live healthier and happier lives by incorporating therapy, service and companion animals into their lives. She has been involved in animal assisted therapy for more than twenty years. Jane has worked as a behavior counselor at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Manhattan and as a Shelter Manager at Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption. She currently works with two Pet Partner dogs, Kelly and Clinton, who she adopted from shelters. Kelly has been working with children and in hospitals for many years, and began working with Sanctuary’s Children and Youth Services program in 2009. In 2012 Kelly and Jane won the “Halo Award” from Angel on a Leash, an organization dedicated to creating the best therapy dog programs in health care facilities and other settings across the country. Clinton, the latest addition to the family, has been working for three years. Both Kelly and Clinton love bringing joy to the people they visit. Read about Kelly's recent visit to Sanctuary!
Gerri Woods has worked at the Horace Mann School for the past 30 years, teaching English and directing the Independent Study program. She began advising the Women’s Issues Club of Horace Mann in the late 1990s. About 10 years ago, a student approached Gerri proposing that the club partner with and support the work of Sanctuary for Families. Under Gerri’s advising, the student initiated a partnership between the Women’s Issues Club and Sanctuary for Families that continues to this day. The club members volunteer at Sanctuary’s Sarah Burke House Shelter (SBH) on a monthly basis, assisting the children and mothers who reside there with arts and crafts projects. Last year, the students held bake sales and sold t-shirts as fundraising efforts to help support a renovation project at SBH. With the money they raised, they assisted the renovation process by painting walls and creating a curtain of fabric quilt squares featuring drawings made by children at SBH. Gerri is very proud of her students’ commitment and is honored to work with the caring professionals at Sanctuary for Families.
2013 Volunteer Honorees:
2012 Volunteer Honorees:
2011 Volunteer Honorees:
2010 Volunteer Honorees:
2009 Volunteer Honorees: